3D Printing
Case Study

Leveraging 3D Printing’s Design Freedom & Lighter Material, Stratasys Helps Prefix Corporation Create Optimal Automotive Tooling Fixtures

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A Prefix customer needed a tooling fixture used to apply automotive decals redesigned due to several problems inherent with the existing configuration. The original tool was a multi-piece assembly made up of machined aluminum and nylon, making it sub-optimal for several reasons:

  • Considerable weight (15 – 20 lbs. depending on vehicle) causing operator fatigue
  • Dimensional inaccuracies from tolerance stack-ups inherent with a multi-part assembly
  • Vehicle damage due to difficulty in handling
  • Excessive time to make and assemble

Prefix engineers redesigned the tool so it could be 3D printed, leveraging the technology’s design freedom and lighter materials.


The tool was printed using a Stratasys F770 large-format printer, taking advantage of its large 13 cubic-feet build volume. This provided the capability to make the bulk of the tool as a single part and use off-the-shelf handles, avoiding the need to make and assemble multiple pieces.


3D printing the redesigned tool using a Stratasys F770 provided several key benefits:

  • Over 70% weight reduction affording much easier use
  • Single-piece design with accommodation for stock handles, avoiding assembly
  • Elimination of positioning inaccuracies from tolerance stack-ups
  • Significantly reduced chances of vehicle damage
  • Accurate decal placement from better tool positioning due to a more effective design
  • 100% first time quality results achieved using the fixture on over 100 units
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November 9, 2023
September 12, 2022
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