AM company Markforged launches an on-demand parts platform designed to enable the licensing and 3D-printing of manufacturer-certified parts when and where they are needed, without the cost or hassle of physical inventory management.
Named Digital Source, it allows vendors to upload digital part designs which can be securely licensed to customers, distributors, and contract manufacturers. Once uploaded, Digital Source end-users will have the ability to license the right to print parts onsite or through a growing network of approved print service providers.
Digital Source is designed to offer consistent, reliable, turnkey production for 3D-printed parts. Markforged is delivering the promise of digital warehousing by integrating 3D printing software, materials, and hardware with end-to-end process control. Vendors can specify and lock printing process requirements so that customers get manufacturer-certified parts on demand. Robust security safeguards digital part files, and encrypted print instructions are sent directly to printers to protect designs, allowing customers to just “Press Print.”
How the platform helps BMF GmbH
BMF GmbH, a vendor on Digital Source, is a highly-specialized manufacturer of complex sand blasting machines with over 200 installations worldwide, each featuring 60 printed components. These components are typically replaced every three to four months when the machines are running at full capacity.
“We needed a significant amount of storage capacity to be able to stock all the spare parts, and often, the extended delivery time is linked to the customer’s ordering process, as the administrative procedures frequently take too long, when BMF ships the spare parts on the same day,” explains Ronny Bernstein, CEO of BMF GmbH. “Via Digital Source, the component can be printed on-site the moment a failure or wear is detected.”
Both vendors and customers of Digital Source can benefit from reduced inventory costs and simpler replacement part operations and availability, which can increase productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Customers and service centers can print design revisions directly from Digital Source — removing the waste from the disposal of outdated parts and the risk of installing the wrong part version.
“Above all is uptime for our customers. The machine must run and the customer must be able to continue producing. Now the majority of advanced composite parts are printed directly at the customer location, which not only brings down the time it takes to receive the part, but also brings shipping costs and CO2 emissions down, which is on all companies’ minds more than ever before,” adds Bernstein.
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