“The Right Connection,” is an apt tagline for Dixon Valve, given its positioning in the hose coupling industry. Dixon might not have guessed it would be equally on point in terms of the company’s use of 3D printing. A number of years ago, Dixon instituted an Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Department to address the workings of their automated and manufacturing equipment. “We saw an opportunity to improve our efficiency by using 3D printing to rapidly develop functional prototypes for our gantry systems,” said Rodney Everett, Jr., industrial engineer. The team recommended 3D printing and the rest as they say, is history. The additive process’s ability to print custom manufacturing aids critical to tooling has become an important part of the company’s production process and has left engineers at the century-old company embracing the future of manufacturing with 3D printing.
Dixon gaskets are inserted into these fittings using a SCARA robot and 3D printed grippers.
“With our Stratasys J750, we 3D printed the entire working prototype in one go with all the color specifications our customers required, while reducing the production time by 40%.”
Nacho Sandoval, AIJU