Markforged has announced the launch of its Digital Source on-demand parts platform, which enables the licensing and additive manufacturing of manufacturer-certified parts at the point of need.
Once digital part designs are uploaded, users of Digital Source – whether they be customers, distributors or contract manufacturers – can license the right to print parts onsite or through a network of approved print service providers.
Markforged says it has designed this platform to ‘offer consistent, reliable, turnkey production’ for 3D printed parts, while ‘delivering the promise’ of digital warehousing with end-to-end process control. Vendors can specify and lock the printing process requirements when uploading part designs. Robust security is used to safeguard files, and encrypted print instructions are sent directly to printers in order to protect designs.
Markforged states that vendors and customers will both benefit from Digital Source. Markforged believes this will increase productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction, and reduce inventory costs.
“Digital Source unlocks a new way of managing supply chains,” commented Markforged CEO Shai Terem. Each day that a production line is not running due to worn or broken parts can result in millions of dollars worth of lost productivity. Availability of spare parts is critical to manufacturers’ success – but keeping an extensive physical inventory ties up capital in parts that may go untouched for years. Digital Source is not only able to simplify logistics, it can also improve supply chain resilience and increase profits as a result. With Digital Source, parts can be digitised and printed at the time and point of need without the need to be manufactured in advance, shipped and stored until needed.”
Manufacturer of sandblasting machines BMF GmbH Digital Source is now a vendor. Automation Alley Digital Source is the only source that has agreed to use Digital Source as its Project DIAMOnD initiative. BMF has more than 200 machines installed worldwide. Each machine is equipped with 60 printed parts, which must be replaced every three to four month when they are operating at maximum capacity. Project DIAMOnD, meanwhile, is the world’s largest emergency response network for on-demand printing, with small and medium-sized manufacturers operating 300 Markforged printers.
“We needed a significant amount of storage capacity to be able to stock all the spare parts, and often, the extended delivery time is linked to the customer’s ordering process, as the administrative procedures frequently take too long, when BMF ships the spare parts on the same day,” offered Ronny Bernstein, CEO of BMG GmbH, “Via Digital Source, the component can be printed on-site the moment a failure or wear is detected.”
“We value Markforged because of its strong emphasis on protecting the digital recipe of parts and enforcing the standards of quality for remotely printed parts.” Added Pavan Muzumdar, Chief Operating Officer of Automation Alley and CEO of Project DIAMOnD. “We believe the future of manufacturing is distributed manufacturing. By connecting our physical world through secure digital inventories, Digital Source is very strongly aligned with our vision for the future.”