Jigs and fixtures are production tools used to accurately manufacture duplicate and interchangeable parts. Jigs and fixtures are specially designed so that large numbers of components can be machined or assembled identically, and to ensure interchangeability of components.
Jigs is a work holding device that holds, supports and locates the workpiece and guides the cutting tool for a specific operation. Jigs are usually fitted with hardened steel bushings for guiding or other cutting tools. a jig is a type of tool used to control the location and/or motion of another tool. A jig’s primary purpose is to provide repeatability, accuracy, and interchangeability in the manufacturing of products. A device that does both functions (holding the work and guiding a tool) is called a jig. An example of a jig is when a key is duplicated, the original is used as a jig so the new key can have the same path as the old one.
Fixture is a work holding device that holds, supports and locates the workpiece for a specific operation but does not guide the cutting tool. It provides only a reference surface or a device. What makes a fixture unique is that each one is built to fit a particular part or shape. The main purpose of a fixture is to locate and in some cases hold a workpiece during either a machining operation or some other industrial process. A jig differs from a fixture in that a it guides the tool to its correct position in addition to locating and supporting the workpiece.