Essentium announced a new team that will work directly with clients.
Called “EssentiumX”, the new team is composed of “an interdisciplinary team of AM engineers and scientists”, and is intended to assist Essentium clients to speed up additive manufacturing applications.
This addresses a longstanding barrier facing many 3D printer manufacturers: clients often don’t know what to do or how to do it. This is particularly evident with companies entirely new to the technology, but even appears in experienced operations when new approaches are attempted.
The typical way around the issue is to have staff investigate, do experiments, take training, consult with others, and generally take a lot of time to figure out the correct approach. However, for many firms the expense and time required to do this development work can quickly disqualify projects and nothing gets done.
That scenario has played out many times, and the result is lower 3D printer sales and general slowness in adoption of additive manufacturing techniques.
EssentiumX is intended to smash that barrier by bringing in experts to figure things out with the client at a much faster rate.
What exactly will they be doing? Essentium explained how they will work with one of their first EssentiumX clients, the USAF:
“The EssentiumX team will test and develop new materials and processes using the Essentium High Speed Extrusion (HSETM) 3D Printing Platform for the U.S. Air Force, as part of the company’s contract to advance AM solutions for both the U.S. Air Force and the National Guard Bureau (NGB). Beyond producing parts through depots and service centers, the EssentiumX team is focused on enabling the U.S. Air Force to advance expeditionary part production at scale, which moves the point-of-production to the point-of-service.”
“EssentiumX will provide manufacturers with the critical thinking, early blueprints, and knowledge transfer needed to transform legacy processes and applications, and to create hitherto unimagined products using the Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform.”
The team will be headed by Essentium’s new Chief Development Officer, Dr. Elisa Teipel, who said:
“Additive manufacturing has the potential to transform what and how things are manufactured. It has the potential to shift the product ideation to deployment paradigm, transform the economics of manufacturing, and remove supply chain risk. The single biggest challenge large manufacturers face, however, is having the IP and skills needed to make their AM vision, often multiyear deployment projects, a reality, and to realize the far-reaching potential of AM. This is the problem EssentiumX will solve.”
I’ve seen a few other larger 3D printer manufacturers form teams to perform this type of work, but usually they are focused on particular industries. Nevertheless, this brings Essentium to the same level and certainly will enable more sales of their equipment.
That’s for two reasons. First, the confidence in EssentiumX’s abilities will persuade some to proceed with projects they might otherwise have abandoned, and secondly because a good experience with EssentiumX will no doubt build trust and lead to further sales in the future.
It seems that this type of consulting capability will be a requirement to properly market and sell additive manufacturing to industry.