Custom jig manufacturing is something that CNCROi.com is both a customer and provider of for a huge variety of purposes, educational through industrial out of any material, in any shape or size.
CNCROi.com will just focus on acrylic and MDF custom jig manufacturing in today’s post but we’ve made jigs previously out of high density foam, Corian and even metal for highly specialized applications.
Before we jump into custom jig manufacturing, let’s review quickly applications where they aren’t really needed.
Generally, if there are only a few items that need work and/or the value is very high, CNCROi.com doesn’t use a jig as making one can cause more problems than they solve.
Making a jig for five anodized aluminium business cards (above) or even annealing just one (below) is faster to just do the work and calibrate accordingly than to spend time making a custom jig for these items.
We also have extremely high value projects where it’s best (safer) to just make do with the product itself rather than make a jig which may fall out of spec over extended use.
Custom jig manufacturing, regardless of application or design, is generally the same process in which CNCROi.com sticks a material on our bed, cuts holes that suit the product then jump right into production if it’s for internal use.
In this case, we’ll make it out of 1/8th inch or 3 mm acrylic, this will be a two layer custom jig as well.
Custom jigs can be made-up of as few as one layer to over 10, it all depends on the part, the volume and precision required for the project CNCROi.com has on hand.
We can also make custom jigs for multi-step processes, so if part A has more than one surface, we use jig X for the “front”, jig Y for the “back” and another for the “sides” even if each rotation produces a different silhouette.
This custom acrylic jig is rather small, so both the front and backing part of it was cut at the same time, again, this can be done a bunch of different ways, it all depends on the size and design involved.
Making custom jigs in-house means we have absolute and total control over every aspect of custom jig manufacturing, as such, it can be customized throughout the production process in any way you wish or require.
From a bunch of cuts to a finished custom jig, in this case used for anodized aluminium business cards which CNCROi.com makes a lot of, just a bit of glue and it’s ready for production!
The holes in the back serve two purposes, sometimes the material inside the custom jig holes gets stuck for whatever reason, being able to flip it and push it out with a finger solves that problem efficiently.
Second, it helps with other metals like stainless steel, to get rid of the heat being pushed into the plate during the annealing process so it doesn’t melt the acrylic underneath due to heat buildup.
CNCROi.com has a vacuum table in our Austrian wide-format industrial laser, so the holes under the tag can actually suck heat from both above and under the custom jig shown in these photos.
If you are curious as to how a jig is made using MDF, check out the video below.
Next-up is another custom jig manufacturing, this time, for stainless steel dog tags (we also use it for our anodized aluminium offerings).
The process is the same, but the shape is changed for the dog tags including smaller holes in the back to account for the smaller sizing.
CNCROi.com has pass-through capabilities with our industrial CNC laser, which means if we are making lots of jigs, we can feed sheets through for production rather than having to cut them to size THEN cutting them with the laser.
This reduces waste and makes overall custom jig manufacturing a lot more efficient!
Above photo is before, picture below is after.
Now all that’s left to do is bond the finished bottom part of this custom acrylic jig to the top one!
And now we have a production ready custom jig that has annealed and etched lots of custom dog tags through the years.
These photos are from our very first shop, and this jig below is now 3 years old!
It works the same and still looks great even all these years later, it’s one of many that I hold-up during the video of this blog post illustrating CNCROi.com‘s custom jig manufacturing capabilities.
On one side of these 304 stainless steel tags we annealed ANNEALED on it to show customers the difference between fiber laser annealing and etching (which is on the other side).
Below you can see the fiber etching on the other side, jigs are wonderful especially when multiple sides of an item need to be worked on with absolute precision.
That was fun, let’s make another custom jig, out of acrylic no less, but this time, for our custom brass tags which our customers use or mining and other industrial processes like valve tags.
Like the other custom jig manufacturing demos you’ve seen on this blog post, the process is yet again the same, measure the tag, make an outline, replicate it X times and then stick them together (if it’s a multi-layered custom jig manufacturing).
Again, the custom acrylic jig produced by CNCROi.com looks absolutely amazing, and the custom brass tags make it shine all the more!
We use our industrial CO2 laser source to cut out these jigs and then flip to fiber to do the annealing or etching, CNCROi.com has both in the same Trotec Laser 400 flexx machine.
This is what the machine looks like while it’s doing its magic, red light on, few other lights flickering and production has begun!
Like the 304 stainless steel tags above, these custom brass mining and valve tags will be fiber etched and annealed on both sides, using the same jig.
It’s just dropping them out and putting them back in on the opposite side, so it’s a quick process.
The wonders of our processes are truly amazing, we have you covered DESIGN through BUILD so if you want us to design your jig for your part (send us CAD and a part to test with) or you want us to handle everything jig through fabrication, CNCROi.com has you covered!
A quick cleaning and these brass tags are finished, they look great, everything is precise and repeatable thanks to our Austrian equipment.
Here is the same jig, 3 years later, about to engrave stainless steel dog tags in various colors, just to show you how well these hold up over time and if they do break (it happens), CNCROi.com can cut another one in no time flat and get you (or us) back into production!
I can’t show you what we etched on this custom jig, but I think it looks great, and the customer was very happy with the result we achieved for them.
Do you need a custom jig? Contact CNCROi.com, we have you covered design through build and anywhere in between!