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MMM: Tooling and fixtures in 3D to reduce weight, time and costs in the automotive industry

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The experience of MMM with 3D printing

Manufactura Moderna de Metales (MMM) has produced metal components for more than 75 years. Dynamism, proactivity and, most importantly, a high level of specialization are the driving factors of the spirit of innovation and research of new solutions, such as the struggle against Climate Change, thanks to its competences in engineering and manufacturing technologies. 

 In 2019, as a result of this ongoing research of excellence of innovation, MMM identified the need to use 3D printing among its productive processes. MMM had no previous specific knowledge in the additive production and of the technologies at their disposal. They then decided to contact 3DZ for a first consulting session. 

The challenge: reduce the weight of the components along with the time and costs of their production

MMM produces components for vehicles to simulate the conditions in which they are going to work once they are installed in the engine of the vehicle. One of the tests that the products need to pass is the test of vibrations. The challenge consisted in reducing the weight of the components and at the same time to pass these tests. 

 Another challenge was the one to manufacture tooling and fixtures to bend metal tubes during the phases of development to reduce the costs and time linked to the project. 

 Furthermore, it was necessary to create callipers and other control components both for production and for product development. 

Verification gauge.

Utensils for bending tubes in the software Eiger, ready to be printed with the Markforged 3D printer Metal X.

Utensil created with the Markforged 3D printer Metal X.

On this side you can see how the internal structure has been deliberately left exposed.

Utensil created with the Markforged 3D printer Metal X.

The 3D solution

Several simulations were tested for more than a year with the different technologies that 3DZ represents; ROI analysis, different materials to produce tooling designed for bending tubes, utensils, callipers and more. 

In the end, MMM decided to complete its production methods with the 3D printer Metal X as a part of its production processes to manufacture functional prototypes. This allowed the company to reduce to the minimum the end-to-end time of the components, accelerating the shipments and consequently the time-to-market of its products compared to the traditional CNC machining. 


To integrate the process of realization of tooling components for production, MMM bought another Markforged 3D printer able to print tough components in continuous carbon fiber. The X7 3D printer grants the versatility to produce resistant and precise parts in short times, thanks to the option to insert fiber reinforcements during the printing process. The firm uses this 3D printer to prototype components. 

 Now MMM combines the components produced with the X7 with those manufactured by the Metal X to create hybrid tooling light weight and mechanically resistant. An example are the gauges and other tools for quality control that combine with other components produced with the Metal X. 


MMM has at its disposal a metrology department with an Artec 3D scanner Space Spider, perfect to capture small objects or complex details in big objects with a stable precision and with vibrant colors. 

The software they use is Geomagic Control X. Thanks to this smart metrological solution, the quality department has access to a wide range of intuitive controls, and to traceable and repeatable workflows for a measuring process with the highest efficiency and quality. This makes the reporting and analysis processes rapid and leaner, Geomagic Control X grants the optimization of the production process and the improvement of the quality. 


The result: a higher production capacity and flexibility in an extremely volatile market.

“Thanks to our partner 3DZ, MMM is expanding its Additive Manufacturing technologies with high performance materials (metal and composite materials). Our tooling, ready in a few weeks, can produce (form) and control our products… but not anymore only in the prototyping phase. Engineering capabilities+3D printing=expansion of our productive capabilities, more flexible than ever when our market, ever more volatile, demands it.” Says Josep Martin, R&D Director of MMM from his LinkedIn profile. 

The Markforged solutions, both the composite one, X7, and the metal one, Metal X, allow to prototype components for the automotive industry, 

  • Reducing the need to externalize that part of the production process thanks to the internal 3D printer of all the necessary tooling. 
  • Reducing the production costs thanks to the low TCO of the additive production machines. 
  • Take advantage of the option to have the 3D printers work without personnel supervision. 

 All of this with the further advantage of weight reduction linked to the use of these technologies. 



The complete Markforged solution for additive production: 

  • 3D printers, Eiger (software) and materials ( Onyx, Carbon fibers, 17-4 ph, H13, etc…)
  • Markforged X7 to print with composite materials and continuous fibers.
  • Markforged Metal X for printing metals.





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At 3DZ, we are expert distributors of 3D printing and scanning from the best brands on the market. We help companies choose the technology and materials best suited to their specific needs. Contact us: our 3D printing and scanning experts are at your disposal.


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