Silicone 3D printing is still relatively new. Wacker Chemie introduced the first-ever industrial silicone 3D printer just last year, and since then the technology has grown and spread at a rapid rate, with Wacker most recently coming forward with a multi-material silicone 3D printing technology. Service bureaus are now adopting the technology, too; 3Diligent has announced that silicone will now be a material option for its users.
Adding silicone enhances 3Diligent’s already broad range of materials, which also includes metals, plastics and composites, offered through its business services. This should be welcome news to users, particularly in the medical field, which has put the material to important use including the first-ever 3D printed silicone heart.
“Being able to 3D print silicone is an exciting innovation,” said 3Diligent CEO Cullen Hilkene, who has underscored his company’s zest for offering desired 3D printing technologies.
“At 3Diligent we strive to meet the 3D Printing needs of all designers and are pleased to expand our range of elastomeric materials with silicone.”
To submit an RFQ for silicone on the 3Diligent website, users will follow the same process they do with other materials: log on, upload their files, and select silicone as their material. 3Diligent will identify the optimal silicone fabrication solution, offer a quote, and fulfill the order.In other business news, DigiFabster, provider of a cloud-based CRM and production solution for 3D printing businesses, has hired 3D printing consulting company Get3DSmart to manage business development for potential customers in the United States.
“DigiFabster has created a set of software tools which dramatically improve workflow for 3D printing service bureaus, industrial design companies, and organizations with internal capabilities,” said DigiFabster CEO Constantine Ivanov. “We see tremendous opportunity in the U.S market. [Get3DSmart CEO] John Hauer is well-known in the 3D printing industry and is a strong advocate of web-to-3D-print (W23DP) software. Together, we offer a very formidable value proposition.”
Service bureaus and other 3D printing businesses spend a lot of time educating clients about 3D printing and services, managing quotes, and accepting orders. DigiFabster’s software as a service tools help to streamline and automate those processes, and Ivanov has highlighted his commitment to customer service.
“As the industry grows, companies who offer 3D printing services are starting to see the challenge of managing things offline,” said Hauer, who is very familiar with the state of the industry. “The effort involved with educating prospective customers, in addition to the time involved with quoting and order entry create a significant transaction cost. This hinders growth and impacts profitability. To reach their goals, shops need to automate these processes. DigiFabster offers a best-of-breed solution to this important challenge.”
DigiFabster automates things such as quoting and order entry, and also collects data about customers and their orders. The company is continually expanding its API, allowing customers to integrate with other platforms, such as CRM solutions like Salesforce and Pipedrive as well as bookkeeping software like Quickbooks and Xero.
“To really drive cost out of workflow, a company's systems must be able to communicate with one another, seamlessly and in real time,” said Ivanov. “DigiFabster was designed for integration. Together we have significant experience managing these types of projects, which will help clients get even more value from of our capabilities.”
As 3D printing technology expands, demand continues to grow, which means that 3D printing business owners need to become as efficient and productive as possible in order to keep up and make the most of the growing industry.
“The demand has grown to a point where companies must operate as efficiently as possible,” said Hauer. “It's both an offensive and a defensive strategy. Whether you're trying to grow your business with existing customers, or trying to build your client base, you need a significant competitive advantage. A streamlined workflow gives you an increased ability to deliver quality, speed and cost, simultaneously.”
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