Moog’s Wolverhampton facility decided to make a substantial commitment to improving its internal capabilities for CMM inspection. This included using a dedicated fixture for each machined part’s inspection operation. Traditionally, fixturing and part-alignment tooling was outsourced to external suppliers, where it was made from tool steel. “Based on the number of fixtures involved in the CMM improvement project, this would have represented significant expenditure,” explains James Stuart-Young, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Moog Aircraft Group.
“In addition, the outsourcing process always had a lead-time of four to six weeks from drawing release to receipt of a finished fixture. Following a cost-versus-benefit analysis, we evaluated ways to produce these fixtures in-house that would reduce planned lead times. 3D printing was the preferred method of manufacture due to the speed of production and low part costs."Moog reviewed many options during the evaluation phase and chose the Stratasys Fortus 380mc 3D printer because it met all the required technical standards. “The FDM process of the Fortus 380mc produced a more stable part through the sampling process,” said Stuart-Young. “Furthermore, the build envelope and printing materials satisfied our needs, and the price was within our budget.”