Tooling is the key to a successful print. It will house the part, prevent it from moving, and align it in the appropriate position for optimal printing. There are a wide variety of fixtures for inkjet printing because of the versatility of the machines:
- Drop-through fixtures are used on the conveyor-belt-equipped inkjets (Xjet, Xjet 800 inkjets). This fixture is attached to the machine and lowers to align the parts on the conveyor belt. Once the parts are ready for print, the fixture rises and only the parts proceed through the machine.
- Travelling fixtures are used on the flatbed inkjets (X2, X5, Xtrans, Edijet inkjets). A traveling fixture is perhaps the most common. The parts are loaded onto the fixture and both travel into the machine for printing.
- Cylinders and tapers are fixtured with a base cone and nose chuck (Helix inkjet). Each cylinder is unique, which is why it is important to accurately measure and find the right tooling. The correct tooling eliminates wobbling and other potentially harmful effects of an unsecured part.