Dixon Valve & Coupling Company
Reaching Optimal Manufacturing Solution Quickly and Easily with SOLIDWORKS and XOMETRY
DESIGN ACCESS TO MANUFACTURING SERVICESUsing the Xometry add-in to SOLIDWORKS, Dixon’s automation team can obtain estimates for manufacturing prototypes and parts, and place orders from within SOLIDWORKS software. There’s no need to package up models, compose emails, or place orders manually. With round-the-clock access to rapid prototyping and manufacturing information, the company’s automation team can more quickly and easily tap the tools it needs to develop automation solutions. For example, when Dixon needed a specialized fixture to assist with an assembly operation that would be impossible to do by hand, the team used the Xometry add-in to SOLIDWORKS to 3D print the piece in stainless steel. “Instead of waiting two weeks after placing an order to receive the part, we were able to get a quote, place the order, and receive the part in a couple days—all without leaving SOLIDWORKS,” Everett notes.
WEIGHING MANUFACTURING METHOD VS. COSTThe Xometry add-in to SOLIDWORKS software also provides important feedback about the best manufacturing approach and related cost information. In the case of Dixon’s assembly fixture, the initial quotes for CNC machining or 3D printing were close. “Because the fixture would be exposed to water during production, we knew that we needed to make it out of stainless steel,” Everett explains. “When we received the quotes and feedback through the Xometry add-in, we learned that the cost of 3D printing in metal is a factor of the volume,” Everett continues. “So we reduced the volume of the fixture and the attendant cost. We use the Xometry add-in to SOLIDWORKS software to judge the affordability of a design while we are designing it, which allows us not only to gauge the cost of a decision but also to determine how and where to produce it.”
FASTER ACCESS TO MANUFACTURING SERVICES DRIVES AUTOMATIONWith 24/7 access to Xometry manufacturing services from within SOLIDWORKS, the Dixon automation team can more efficiently achieve its goals of automating the production of Dixon products. “The time that the Xometry add-in to SOLIDWORKS saves us certainly provides the agility that we need to fulfill our automation mission,” Everett stresses. “Just as critical as the time savings, however, is the understanding that we gain insights into the advantages and disadvantages of different production processes,” Everett adds. “Whether we are CNC machining, 3D printing, bending sheet metal, making urethane castings, or using other manufacturing methods, the Xometry add-in to SOLIDWORKS gives us access to the cost and manufacturability information that we need to develop automation systems efficiently and cost-effectively.”
Provide internal manufacturing and assembly automation team members with direct access to manufacturing services costing, methodology, and ordering information from within their 3D design environment.
Add the free Xometry add-in to its SOLIDWORKS design software implementation, which includes SOLIDWORKS Professional mechanical design, SOLIDWORKS Premium mechanical design and analysis, SOLIDWORKS Electrical design, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium analysis, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, SOLIDWORKS Inspection, SOLIDWORKS Composer technical communication, and SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard product data management (PDM) software solutions.
- Cut fixture production time from weeks to days
- Reduced fixture production costs
- Determined cost and suitability of production approaches while designing
- Realized 24/7 access to manufacturing services
Products(s) Used:SolidWorks Electrical
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional
SolidWorks Simulation Premium
SolidWorks Flow Simulation