I’m looking at a very interesting company based on the west side of the United States, FATHOM. Their purpose is, well, multifold.
In the “old days”, you’d find industrial 3D print companies focused on specific roles. A company might be a reseller of a manufacturer’s equipment. Or perhaps they might buy the equipment and deliver 3D print services to commercial requestors. Or they may provide additional services beyond printing, such as finishing.
FATHOM takes hold of ALL of these functions and more.
They are a reseller of Stratasys’ line of 3D printing equipment and supplies.
They provide a variety of 3D print-on-demand services, including a low-volume production option, something that’s becoming very popular now, as it addresses a cost “hole” in the manufacturing spectrum.
The 3D print services can also be “same day” delivery, fully leveraging their local presence.
They also provide related manufacturing services, such as CNC milling, injection molding and casting.
It’s a one-stop shop.
Actually, it’s two stops: FATHOM has two locations, one in Oakland and the other in Seattle. In fact, they’re recently increased the size and capacity of the Seattle site.
What I find interesting about this is the integration of these different services into a single operation. It could provide great simplification for their customers, who might not have to go to other providers for related services.
And even if a client’s use of 3D print technology grows sufficiently to justify purchasing their own equipment instead of using print services, FATHOM is still playing: they can sell and service the printers needed by the growing customer!
This is an excellent example of how an entrepreneurial organization can fully leverage 3D print technology - in a business way.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see regional service providers with this level of integration pop up everywhere, making 3D technology far more accessible to small business.