iOrthotics has launched a new division for custom orthotics, complete with a digital workflow.
Founded in 2009 to create custom medical devices, iOrthotics invested into HP’s MJF 3D printers in 2017. MJF has proven to be a good fit for orthotics — and to increase the reach of their installation, iOrthotics turned its multi-million dollar 3D printing investment into a new business.
The spinoff, i3DPS, features a digital manufacturing chain with online quoting and ordering.
“i3DPS was created so other kinds of companies could get access to our capabilities. They use our website to send us orders for all kinds of projects, from single replacement parts and prototypes, to end-use production parts where they need 100 or even 1,000 pieces. We now have a whole range of industries coming to us, getting quotes and placing orders for 3D printed parts,” said Dean Hartley, Founder and General Manager, iOrthotics.
Service bureaus are doing a hefty business in 3D printing as the technology sees use in orders of various sizes. Small businesses looking for one-off, custom, or replacement parts can access expensive industrial equipment without themselves investing the money, time, or training necessary.
The bureaus themselves, in turn, create platforms for customers to explore and access their information, requiring hefty expertise from end to end. For its software needs, i3DPS turned to DigiFabster for an online quoting solution for easy ordering. Quoting can prove an unexpected bottleneck in the ordering process, as these can require a person to go over every aspect of an inquiry to calculate costs and timing.
But that’s not really what customers want. In the age of Amazon, people want things when they want them, and that usually means now. eCommerce is changing the way business is done, supplementing traditional interpersonal and brick-and-mortar business, just as additive is reshaping the way things are made.
Implementing solutions from DigiFabster allowed i3DPS to offer automatic quoting, as well as track and manage orders.
“DigiFabster’s solution has benefited i3DPS in quite a few different ways,” said Hartley. “One of those is the reduced time it takes to get orders out. Its improved our workflow significantly and with that comes a reduction in cost. We’re probably saving anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes per order by reducing a lot of the administrative tasks that go along with each order, both at the front and back end of the process.”
3D printing fits into a digital manufacturing environment, and further digitizing the workflow for all involved is a goal for many companies these days. Automation is in focus for streamlining front- and back-end operations, and finding the right software is important for creating the right new solutions.
i3DPS eases the quoting for customers and use of DigiFabster’s CRM system keeps those customers updated on status throughout the job process. Shipping and payment are also automated in their setup.
This look into where automation helps in the business of 3D printing shows that one new Australian business operation has found its fit in customizing its workflow for custom orthotics.