No, we don’t mean the industry’s been eating too much. Instead we’re talking about a concept recently described by Design News. FAT is an acronym for “Fabricating and Assembly Tools”. Here’s the concept:
- 3D printers of today often don’t produce objects robust enough for use in retail products
- However, they do produce objects sufficiently robust to be used in the manufacturing process: jigs, clamps, guides, etc.
Evidently the market for such tooling is over 10x the value of additive printing itself! The article describes how vacuum manufacturer Oreck produced more than 300 FAT aids, as it has now reached their required levels of accuracy – at least using the FDM machinery used at Oreck.
Via Design News