Adaptation is the key to success.
Say you want to create a jig or a fixture for an object. Your schedule is tight. Like every time. After designing it you ship the files to the manufacturer, which is as usual very busy right now, and they might squeeze it in between two other jobs, so you’ll have it in 5-6 weeks… at best.
There is another way though. Just print it in plastic. If the printer starts today, it is finished tomorrow. Some post processing and finishing and it can be delivered and tested well within a week. By the way a new generation of materials are entering the market, where fibre reinforced plastic basically replaces aluminium.
You get a cad file and now it is your job to create the parts that will fit snuggly to your object.
It is quite simple, and there are more ways to skin a cat, so I’ll just show one example here.
Start by extruding a few shapes from the “floor” up into the model. This step is very straightforward in any cad program.
Here comes a trick. Select the Offset tool and mark all outer surfaces on the valve house. Set the offset distance to 0.
This is the surfaces we just created. It is full of holes and the two halves does not join up in the middle. No big deal. Easy to fix. Just bring up the Patch tool.
Patch it all. And use a loft from one half to the other to bridge the small gap in the middle.
Now, use the Stitch tool and make all separate surfaces to combine into one watertight shell. A solid.
With this shell, now turned into a solid, we can cut away material from the fixture parts with something that is called a boolean operation. Sounds fancy but it is just an intersecting cut.
With all intersecting parts cut away this is what is left.
Extrude the faces to make a bigger cutout where needed. This direct editing is very simple to do in Fusion 360. Point on a surface and hit E for extrude. then drag it.
Done! We have made a jig.