Jigs and Fixtures for CNC Machining

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by assistant

Since the market’s demand for processing efficiency and quality is constantly increasing, there are more applications of various new technologies and tools in manufacturing projects, such as jigs and fixtures.

When it comes to CNC machining or other mass-production methods, jigs, and fixtures are often mentioned. In most cases, people regard these two words as having the same meaning, but they have different functions.

This article will introduce the differences, advantages, and types of jigs and fixtures.

Jigs and Fixtures for CNC Machining

What Are Jigs?

Jigs not only plays a role in holding the workpiece but also guide the cutting tool. Manufacturers can guarantee the accuracy and repeatability of cutting parts by using jigs. Common materials used to make jigs are steel or aluminum. The drill jig is one of the common jig types,  guiding the drill bit at the position where the hole needs to drill.

What Are Fixtures?

The role of Fixtures is to securely and accurately clamp the workpiece. It can be applied in various CNC machining operations like milling, turning, and grinding. CNC machining won’t do much without jigs to guide the tool, but a CNC machine won’t work properly if the workpiece isn’t held steady.

The most common type of Fixture: T-Slots

T-Slots are one of the most common fixtures used to position workpieces. Compressing the workpiece requires the usage of specific T-Slots fasteners such as nuts and studs. The advantage of T-Slots is that they are easy  to operate while also collecting chips.

T-Slots Fixtures for CNC Machining

The disadvantage is that new fixtures need to be set up for new projects, which affects efficiency to a certain extent.

The Difference between Jigs and Fixtures:

Although jigs and fixtures have similar characteristics, they are functionally different.

  • In CNC machining, jigs can both fix the workpiece and guide the moving direction of the cutters. The function of fixtures is to support the workpiece when the CNC tool is cutting.
  • Jigs are relatively light, while fixtures are heavy to provide stability.
  • The design of Jigs is more complicated than that of fixtures.
  • The jigs can be fixed manually, but the fixtures need to be fixed mechanically, and the fixtures are always placed on the machine table.
  • Jigs cost more than fixtures.

Components for Jigs and Fixtures

Generally, Jigs and Fixtures consist of four parts: body, clamping device, positioning device, and bushing.

Benefits of Jigs and Fixtures for CNC Machining

The application of jigs and fixtures in CNC machining get a lot of benefits below.

1. Reduce the measurement, positioning, and alignment of workpieces.

2. Improve the safety of the production process and reduce the occurrence of accidents.

3. It allows engineers to adjust the speed in time.

4. Dimensional variability is reduced, which can ensure quality during processing and reduce the quality inspection steps after processing.

5. Reduce the procedures of manual control and labor costs, improve the production efficiency of processing, and increase the output.

Choose CNC Machining or 3D Printing for Jigs and Fixtures?

CNC machining and 3D printing have their advantages.

We often apply CNC machining to create small batches of high-precision and durable jigs and fixtures, using materials including steel and aluminum.

3D printing can be applied to making fast plastic jigs and fixtures with more complex designs. Compared with CNC machining, 3D printing produces jigs and fixtures with lower strength.

Ruitai’s CNC Machining Service

At Ruitai, we apply custom jigs and fixtures to improve the quality and efficiency of CNC machining. At the same time, we offer CNC machining to help you build custom jigs and fixtures. Contact us to get your project started here!