Small businesses can now design and 3D-print multiple parts directly from the cloud and then get it delivered to their doorsteps.
US-based 3D printing firm buildPl8, which focuses on mass production of thermoplastic parts and products across a variety of material types and formats, has launched a cloud software that helps with on-demand manufacturing needs.
The software, InventoryBot, provides access to the buildPl8 factory of 3D printers with tools that allow customers to directly print and manage complex multi-part product production.
This means that customers can use the cloud software to directly print the parts they need or design new ones and print them to assemble later. buildPl8 offers a drop shipping facility.
The company is targeting small manufacturers looking to outsource parts creation.
Gerry Libertelli, buildPl8's founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the cloud solution has been in the making for a year.
"We want to be the tool US business turns to when China can't get it done," he said.
By implementing an outsourcing model, Libertelli and his company could be moving in the right direction. Recent shutdowns of personal 3D printing companies indicate that self-printing models may be neither time- nor cost-effective for companies.
New Matter and Type A Machines, both desktop 3D printing solutions providers, recently said they were shutting down.
Pasadena-based New Matter's CEO Peter Schell said that the model in which his company was functioning may not be viable any more.
These businesses might have been hit by cheap do-it-yourself kits that allow easy, widespread and accessible 3D-manufacturing for all.
In a related development in this space, Minneapolis-based additive manufacturing firm Stratasys Ltd recently showcased three 3D-printing solutions aimed at boosting production at dental and orthodontic labs through techniques including use of multiple materials on a single tray.