We’ve been looking at a new 3D print service that has been running for only 1.5 years: Xometry.
The Maryland, USA-based company is an industrial 3D print service like some others, but there are some interesting differences in approach.
Xometry currently operates a 10,000 sf facility in Maryland that includes a half dozen powerful 3D printers capable of producing objects in a variety of 3D printing processes, including FDM, SLS, DLMS, PolyJet and more. In other words, they have all the bases covered; if you need something 3D printed, they can definitely do it.
Here’s the difference in approach: they specifically seek clients requiring a low volume quantity of units produced. While many readers may believe 3D printing is suitable to produce “one” unit, in fact there is quite a bit of economy to produce more, particularly with today’s production 3D printers.
In the past businesses were faced with the costs of mass manufacturing, which usually meant a huge cost to tool up before even one unit could be made. Once tooled, however, millions of units could be made at low cost.
But what if you needed only 1,000 units? It would not be worth producing tooling for mass production.
This is where Xometry steps in. They will accept orders for up to 5,000 units only, demonstrating their specific market focus. They’ll produce your units on their fleet of 3D printers and provide post process finishing and dyeing services, too.
There’s another unique aspect to Xometry: the company was newly formed specifically for this purpose, while most of their competitors grew through acquisitions and transitions. Xometry is set up to do low-volume 3D printing from the start.
They’re funded by venture capitalists, who have fronted the significant capital required to get such a company off the ground - the machines and materials are quite expensive. But it seems to be working, as Xometry now has a wide mix of clients ranging from aerospace to medical to defense to small startups. They’ll “work with any customer”, according to Xometry Director of Marketing Ted Lubin.
If you happen to need, oh, 1,500 items, you might want to give Xometry a shout.