EOAT- End of Arm Tooling for a Vacuum Manipulator from Onyx and Continuous Carbon Fiber

Onyx/Chopped-Carbon-Fiber 3D printed part used for irrigating suction from a vacuum manipulator to move work pieces.

The Breakdown:

EOAT is the best solution, but it isn’t perfect

End of Arm Tooling for vacuum manipulators are common in cardboard box assembly shops because vacuums need to securely seal to the product in order to effectively maintain grip. Sometimes, however, EOAT for vacuum manipulators can get snagged on products when product geometry gets complex.

Carbon fiber printed in the perfect geometry.

Markforged was able to print Onyx and Carbon fiber in shapes that are ideal. Heavyweight, traditionally-machined EOAT for these vacuums would get hooked on various features of the product, causing unacceptable and costly slowdowns and stops for production.

Faster, cheaper, and easier to make AND use than aluminum.

As new jobs come in for a package assembly facility, new types of vacuum-heads, end-effectors, and other EOAT must be purchased or manufactured. Both options are costly, and this must be done every new job that couldn’t use EOAT from previous contracts for their vacuum manipulators, due to random factors related to form factor, weight, and geometry.

Part Comparison
Markforged Off the Shelf Change
Materials Onyx & Carbon Fiber Aluminum 6061
Tensile Strength (MPa) 700 310 126%
Density(g/cm³) 1.4 2.7 -48%
Vacuum Routing Custom Internal External, Limited Internal


Problem Situation

Most container manufacturers and package assembly facilities use vacuum equipment capable of manipulating working product with Y axis, XY axis, and XYZ axes motion. This equipment often needs to be fitted with static-end tooling similar to effectors found on robot hands, arms, and other automatons.

Markforged Saves the Day with Onyx and Continuous Carbon Fiber

Because Markforged’s High Strength materials can be 3D printed, geometry complexity is free, and the possibilities are unlimited. Markforged was able to print very lightweight vacuum end effectors that were very effective at irrigating suction.