Industrial parts designed and made by Additive [Source: Fabbaloo]
A London-based 3D print service has rebranded.
We first encountered the then-Digits2Widgets operation five years ago and toured their operation in north London. At the time they were operating a pair of EOS machines, 3D printing highly complex nylon objects typically for artistic endeavors.
We ran into them again a few weeks ago at TCT Show and learned they were planning a branding change.
This is quite interesting because many companies in the 3D print space have undergone significant change. It seems few were unscathed by the drop in interest in the technology by consumers and subsequent increase in interest by professionals and industry. Many companies pivoted markets or even products, while others simply faded away.
That effect seems to have hit Digits2Widgets as well.
They’re now known simply as “Additive”, and their new URL is additive.xyz.
Why the change? It seems that they feel the new name is a bit more mature, while the old name didn’t properly convey what the company actually does. They don’t make “widgets”; they design and make powerful industrial parts.
In the beginning some ten years ago, “Digits To Widgets” was quite appropriate. Back then many people were still exploring the notion of digital design and having a company named for that process was entirely suitable.
The first clients were artists who required creative work in their explorations of the making process.
However, over time things changed, as they have across the industry. Today, while Additive still does creative work, they do a lot more work for industry.
They’ve leveraged their considerable design skills to address the needs of industry by delivering design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) skills to produce well-performing end-use parts made from specific material types.
Optimal 3D Print Designs
This is an important point. Anyone, even myself sometimes, can usually produce a design for a client. But is it the best design?
Designs are more than just a shape; they are a geometric compromise for the engineering requirements of the end-use part. It must perform the functions. It must be printable. It must endure the conditions expected in its application.
These are highly complex matters that require considerable design skills to develop. Additive has those skills, having learned over ten years what works and what does not.
Today Additive produces specialized parts for engineering, such as those used in a submersible ocean vehicle. They’re also able to perform low-volume manufacturing of high-end, high-value parts.
3D Print Service Benefits
This, to me, is the future of 3D print services.
While it is always possible to acquire 3D printing equipment, it is quite another thing to know how to use them in the most effective fashion. For those new to 3D printing who have not yet obtained such skills, the best course of action is to partner with a service that does, such as Additive.