A Digital Manufacturing Partner for Every Business

Yesterday, we made a big announcement.

After spending the better part of the last year qualifying and onboarding new fabrication centers, we are pleased to formally announce that we are now offering CNC Machining and Casting services alongside our 3D Printing service.  In doing so, we have become the “Digital Manufacturing Partner to Every Business.”

What does this mean to you, our customer?

That if you enjoyed the one-stop shopping convenience we previously offered you for additive manufacturing, you will love getting those same benefits from our comprehensive machining and casting services.  Instead of having to dial up dozens of companies in search of a solution that might call for any of those technologies, you can now submit a single RFQ and know that 99.9% of the time you’re going to get a great quote on the program that leverages the strength of 3Diligent’s thousands of fabrication options to ensure you’re getting the best solution to your fabrication need.

Beyond providing you the added convenience of one-stop shopping for your digital and rapid manufacturing needs, these expanded capabilities also enhance our ability to support your company’s needs from prototyping through to production.  At 3Diligent, we are very excited about the growing number of production 3D Printing programs we are supporting.  Advancements in 3D Printing speed, reliability and material science are making it a viable option for an increasing number of programs.  However, there are times when machining or casting are a better option for the application at hand, especially at higher volumes.

Now, for those of you who have been regular users of our service, you know that we have been quietly offering Machining and Casting for some time.  We’ve been refining these capabilities in semi-stealth mode.  Until we had all the pieces in place, we didn’t want to announce that we were ready for primetime.

But now we are.

Our service now offers several hundred CNC machines of all flavors, including milling, turning, EDM, laser cutting, and waterjet cutting.  Our casting service now services materials including an incredible range of urethanes, silicone, and metals.

And I’m pleased to report that the reviews have been outstanding.  From casting to machining, our customers have reported the highest levels of satisfaction with our world-class project management and the timeliness and workmanship of our fabrication centers.  You can read a few of them here in our press release.

If you have a program that might call for machining or casting, I strongly encourage you to submit an RFQ at www.3Diligent.com.  I think you’ll be impressed!

3Diligent Expands Digital Manufacturing Services with Addition of Comprehensive Machining and Casting Services

Company adopts “Digital Manufacturing Partner for Every Business” tagline to reflect growing and evolving business

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 11, 2018 – 3Diligent Corporation, a comprehensive digital manufacturing services provider, today announced it has completed the build out of a range of machining and casting manufacturing services. The company, which has been known for developing the most comprehensive range of 3D Printing services in the industry, is now a leader in the full range of digital manufacturing capabilities.

The move was made to address the needs of companies who sought to use 3Diligent’s fabrication network, procurement expertise, and online portal beyond the scope of its 3D Printing offering.  Especially in situations where 3D Printing, CNC Machining, or Casting are all viable options, 3Diligent’s offering of each service provides customers a single convenient interface to seamlessly access these competing technologies.  Further, 3Diligent’s expansion into these offerings allows it to more readily support customers seeking larger volumes and materials that aren’t currently served by 3D Printing.

Complete Casting and Machining Services

In the past year, 3Diligent has placed an increased emphasis on building out its machining and casting network in addition to its 3D Printing service.

Machining is the process of creating a part by removing material from a block of raw stock.  3Diligent now offers a complete range of machining services including milling, turning, electro discharge machining, water jetting and laser cutting.

Casting is the process of creating a part by pouring material into a defined negative space to create a part.   Casting services include urethane casting, silicone casting and metal casting.

“We strive to be a complete digital manufacturing solution for our customers from prototyping through production.  These new services complement our existing ones and allow us to provide even more convenient one-stop shopping value to our customers,” said Cullen Hilkene, CEO and co-founder of 3Diligent.

In conjunction with the introduction of these offerings, the company has updated its tagline to “The Digital Manufacturing Partner for Every Business.”  Previously referenced as “The 3D Printing Partner for Every Business,” the company changed the tagline to better reflect the broad nature of the work it does for customers.

Resonating with Customers

“We worked with 3Diligent on a urethane casting project. The breadth of materials and services they offered, including flame retardant and color options, made them a great partner on this program,” said Terry Trumbull, VP of Electro-Mech Components, Inc., a provider of components to the aerospace industry. “We were very satisfied with the experience.”

“We used 3Diligent for several custom [machined] parts used in the fabrication of instrumentation control panels,” said John Pendleton, President, Kansas City Valve and Fitting. “Everything arrived on time and to spec, and we saved 30% versus our previous supplier.”

Customers can order parts made from any of the new machining or casting services – or its market leading range of 3D printing options – from the 3Diligent website at  http://www.3diligent.com/.

About 3Diligent

3Diligent is “The Digital Manufacturing Partner for Every Business” offering CAD/CAM-based fabrication services such as 3D Printing, CNC machining, and casting. 3Diligent uses data science to analyze customer requests for quote (RFQs) and identify optimal rapid manufacturing solutions across its network of qualified partners to fabricate better parts faster. 3Diligent’s next-generation approach to rapid manufacturing allows customers to simplify their procurement and rationalize its service provider list. 3Diligent counts companies from Fortune 500 enterprises to startups among its customers. For more information, visit http://www.3Diligent.com/.


Additive Manufacturing Webinar Series with NIST-MEP – Register Now!

You may have seen our announcement late last year that 3Diligent had been selected by NIST-MEP to deliver an additive manufacturing webinar series. We’re pleased to share that after presenting the series to a collection of MEP consultants and their clients, the time has now come to register for our public webinar series options.

3Diligent CEO, Cullen Hilkene, will be one of the featured speakers, along with MAGNET’s Senior Design Engineer, Dave Pierson. The series will be facilitated by Catalyst Connection’s Connie Palucka.

The 3-part webinar series focuses on three major topics: introduction to additive technology, process tradeoffs and applications, and practical next steps for companies that are interested in using additive manufacturing technology for prototyping, tooling, replacement parts, or production applications.

Here’s a summary of each of the webinars coming up this month, in April, and in May. Each session will take place from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m ET.

March 20 & April 17, 2018 –  Introduction to Additive Manufacturing. In this session, we will introduce various concepts related to 3D Printing/additive manufacturing. In it, we will walk through the additive manufacturing process from design to finished part, discuss additive manufacturing industry trends and its relative place in the manufacturing ecosystem, and end with a few general use case applications.

March 27 & May 1, 2018 –  Additive Manufacturing Processes and Applications. In this session, we will dive more deeply into the seven primary additive manufacturing process families: vat photopolymerization, binder jetting, material jetting, material extrusion, sheet lamination, powder bed fusion, directed energy deposition. We will highlight some of the tradeoffs of the processes and offer specific use cases for each.

April 3 & May 8, 2018 – Interested in Additive Manufacturing? Appropriate Next Steps. In this session, we will dig into practical next steps if you would like to pursue additive manufacturing within your organization. We will present key considerations in identifying parts that are the best candidates for additive manufacturing, provide tips on how to design for additive manufacturing, and lastly, offer guidance on the information you’ll need to get parts quoted and fabricated.

You can register for the FREE webinar series here. We look forward to sharing all of our additive manufacturing knowledge, capabilities and experience with you!

Taking a Closer Look at the HP Jet Fusion 300 / 500: A Breakthrough New Color 3D Printer

HP recently issued a press release about the long-awaited HP color 3D printer, the Jet Fusion 300 / 500. In this post, we take a closer look their announcement given our expertise working with every major 3D printing technology on the market to help you determine just how impactful this new product launch will be.

In the paragraphs below, we deconstruct some of the key passages of the press release to give you some perspective on what to expect…

Press Release: Palo Alto, CA, Feb. 5, 2018 — Today HP Inc. expanded its 3D printing portfolio with the introduction of its new Jet Fusion 300 / 500 series of 3D printers, the industry’s first 3D printing technology to enable manufacturers to produce engineering-grade, functional parts in full color, black or white – with voxel control – in a fraction of the time1 of other solutions. Depending on configuration and color preference, the Jet Fusion 300 / 500 series is available starting in the $50,000s, enabling small- to medium-sized product development teams and design businesses, entrepreneurs, and universities and research institutions to access HP’s industry leading Multi Jet Fusion printing technology.

Commentary: A lot in this passage.  The big takeaway, though, is engineering-grade, functional parts in full color.  To date, full color parts have been 3D Printed using paper, gypsum, or resin.  None of those materials are well equipped for functional applications.  Instead, parts are typically printed and then painted or dyed as part of a post-processing step.  So the story here is theoretically a faster way to durable multi-color parts.  Starting at $50K, it’s a fair bit more expensive than most of the gypsum and paper-based technologies, but that’s a bit less than competing multi-color resin technologies.

Press Release: HP’s unique ability to control part properties at the individual voxel level enables the design and production of previously unconceivable parts and is now available, for the first time, in full color. Whether in healthcare, automotive, consumer goods, or other industries; or for entrepreneurs, designers, or university researchers with the next great idea; the potential of new 3D printing applications is enormous. HP is already engaging in the co-development of new color applications with universities and businesses around the world including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Yazaki Corp., and Youngstown State University, amongst others.

Commentary: HP has put emphasis on voxel-level control for some time now.  For those who aren’t as familiar with the term, a voxel is a 3-Dimensional pixel.  So, much like you can use photoshop to alter the exact color composition of each pixel of a photograph, you can do that as well to a voxel with this technology.  This promises to provide the equivalent of micro-painting – achieving a level of accuracy that cannot be conventionally achieved by traditional painting methods.  Practically speaking, the applications for micro-color applications remain to be seen.  That being said, you can see the potential value in creating models or surgical guides that provide all the color required, but did not require a human touch and the risk of human error. At the very least, it would seem to help product designers accelerate the time to a functional product vs. the current process and post-process steps.

Press Release: The HP Jet Fusion 300 / 500 3D printers will launch with a new material, HP 3D High Reusability CB PA 12. Parts using this material will have mechanical properties similar to the HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 material from HP’s industrial solutions.

Commentary: Here we see that HP is emphasizing Nylon 12 (Polyamide) as its go-to material.  HP has a significant depth of experience working with Nylon with its initially launched Jet Fusion printers, so this is no surprise.

Press Release: HP today also unveiled a new collaboration with Dassault Systèmes, a leading provider of 3D design software with millions of users in more than 140 countries, to empower a new era of product design innovation by entrepreneurs, makers, students, and businesses. The two companies intend to optimize Dassault Systèmes’ industry-leading SOLIDWORKS 3D design and engineering applications to take advantage of the unique voxel-level capabilities of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions.

Commentary: Looks like we can expect some voxel-level coloring options in Solidworks in the not too distant future.  And lastly, from the footnotes…

Press Release: Based on internal and third-party testing for HP Jet Fusion 580 and 540 3D Printers, printing time is a fraction of the time of the printing times of comparable plastic fused deposition modeling (FDM), stereolithography (SLA), and material jetting solutions from $20,000 USD to $120,000 USD on market as of June, 2017. Testing variables for the HP Jet Fusion 580 3D Printer: Part quantity: 1 full build chamber of parts from HP Jet Fusion 3D at 10% of packing density versus same number of parts on above-mentioned competitive devices; Part size: 30 cm3; Layer thickness: .08 mm/0.003 inches. Competitor testing variables are comparable.

Commentary: This is interesting in the sense that the claim is based on these conditions.  Most notably: a full build chamber, 30cc part, and 80 micron layer thickness.  Both paper- and Gypsum-based systems tend to work in a bed fashion, so this is a reasonably fair comparison for them.  Material Jetting printers do not…and in fact if the intention of this platform is quick one-off designs than a complete bed is perhaps not a reasonable comparison.  Regardless, you’d think it to be quick, but don’t assume this is inherently the fastest solution for your particular needs.

We look forward to having the HP Jet Fusion 300 / 500 series of 3D printers in our network. Until then, take a look at the other 3D printing process available to you through 3Diligent.

Behind the Scenes with the Markforged Metal X: An interview with Greg Mark

In honor of 3Diligent CEO Cullen Hilkene’s presentation at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Conference today, where he’ll be talking about innovative metal additive technologies, here’s our recent interview with Greg Mark, CEO of Markforged.

The Markforged Metal X is the first printer to use extrusion process for metal printing, promising new speed for a wide range of materials. The Metal X uses innovative design breakthroughs to overcome the challenges with adapting extrusion process to metal materials.

Markforged CEO Greg Mark

In this email interview between 3Diligent CEO, Cullen Hilkene, and Markforged CEO, Greg Mark, we find out more of what to expect from this exciting new printer.

The Metal X is a breakthrough technology helping usher in metals to the material extrusion process.  Now, lots of folks never thought extrusion would be possible because molten metal passing through a metal nozzle seemed like a recipe for solid clogged nozzles.  Explain how it works…

Rather than extruding molten metal, Markforged has developed a new end-to-end process built on Metal Injection Molding (MIM). It begins with metal powder bound in plastic and formed into a filament. The exact same material from the MIM process. We then put it through a nozzle and print it into the part shape, one layer at a time. After printing, you follow standard MIM post-processing: just sinter the part in a furnace, burn off the binder and solidify the powder into a fully dense metal part. You can learn more at https://markforged.com/ADAM

For readers less familiar with MIM, can you speak a bit more about this powder bound in plastic works and the material options it makes available?

We combine 60% metal powder with a proprietary mix of well-known MIM binder materials. The best part is that we’ll support hundreds of metals, including 17-4 Stainless Steel when the Metal X ships. We’re also looking at titanium, aluminum, inconel and tool steels.

What level of density is achievable with the process?

The density is not achieved until you actually sinter the part – after extrusion, it’s still powder bound in plastic. Post sintering you can achieve densities over 98% – and the parts can then be hot isostatic pressed to full density.

MarkForgedimage001Could you share a bit more about the sintering phase?

Of course- the sintering step is really a crucial part in the ADAM technology. Sintering the parts burns off the plastic binders we use in the printing and causes the metal powder to diffuse together, yielding a solid metal part.

What sorts of tolerances are achievable with this process?  Do they scale up with the size of the part?

The Metal X is printing parts near net shape, just like cast parts. We’re talking a few percentage points by size, or a few thousand per inch. Of course, if you have a critical dimension you’re still going to need to machine it.

What size parts are achievable with this process – both in green state and sintered?

The max part size is 250 x 183 x 150 mm post sintering. The sintering process shrinks the part by around 17% in each direction. So, pre-sintering, the build volume is 300 x 220 x 180mm. For more information, definitely check out our Metal X datasheet, which you can read here.

What sort of surface finish can people expect? 

Markforged is known for best in class surface finishes – that’s because we design the full system in house from materials, to hardware, to software.

What is the range of materials possible at this time and in the pipeline?

The Metal X will ship with the capability to print 17-4 and 316L stainless steel, but we’ve got all sorts of other metals planned. This is all in addition to the wide range of materials – composites, carbon fiber, Onyx – we deliver with our existing series of printers. Our team at Markforged is already working on titanium, inconel, aluminum and tool steel, and that’s just the beginning.

Are there specific capabilities of the technology that you’d like to highlight?  Beyond the range of metals you can offer, for instance, I’d think the ability to hollow out walls with a honeycomb or lattice structure is a unique advantage vs. powder bed technologies…

One thing to note is that the Metal X is going to deliver captive infill metal parts. These are fully encased lattice structures inside metal, possible for the first time through a 3D printer. This means the Metal X can print lighter parts with less material while preserving strength characteristics, something potentially vital for the aerospace and automotive industries.

Are there core applications where you’re seeing your early users get maximum value from the technology?

Everything that we’ve built at Markforged is designed to make elements of manufacturing quicker and more affordable than traditional processes. Whether tooling, prototyping, or mass producing, the Metal X allows the user to get parts tomorrow, not in 4-6 weeks. And our customers already estimate over 90% savings on the cost of parts compared to machining or casting when using Metal X.

Anything else you want to share that we didn’t touch on?

We make printers at Markforged, but at our heart we’re a process company. Humans have been pouring metal into molds to make things for millennia, yet technology has since advanced nearly every industry on the planet – the way we consume media, the way we communicate, or the way we access services. But manufacturing has somehow avoided major disruption since the dawn of the first assembly line. What if you could debug hardware in production? What if engineers could prototype overnight instead of over the course of months?  We’re engineering the very processes, and the 3D printers, that can accelerate the massive adoption of additive manufacturing.

Greg – thank you again for taking the time for this interview. The Metal X is indeed a great addition to the 3D Printing market and we look forward to working with our customers to leverage its capabilities.



3Diligent CEO to Speak at Pacific Design & Manufacturing Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Next week, I’ll give my first talk of 2018 just a short distance southeast to Anaheim, Calif. at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Conference.

The Design News event will take place February 6-8, 2018 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Known as the nation’s largest advanced design and manufacturing showcase, the conference covers CAD/CAM software, 3D printing, rapid prototyping, new materials, injection molding and more.

On the first day of the conference, February 6, I will be speaking on “Metal 3D Printing Evolution: An Exploration of Trends & Emerging Tech.” As part of my presentation, I will provide an overview of the metal 3D Printing market.  Included in this will be a deep dive into the established metal 3D Printing processes, strengths, drawbacks, and applications for each technology available today, as well as some perspective on emerging metal technologies.  So for those of you wanting to learn about powder bed, metal extrusion, full sinter binder jetting and more, we’ve got you covered.

I’d like for you to attend this session on Tuesday, February 6 at 3:15 pm in 208B. If you will be attending the conference, but can’t attend the session, I’d still love to meet you. You can send an email here to set up a time.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the great innovations at Pacific Design & Manufacturing and learning from my industry peers.

What’s Coming in 3D Printing Technology in 2018

How is it that the first month of 2018 is already coming to a close?! I hope your New Year is off to a great start – things are certainly moving along quickly here at 3Diligent!

It promises to be another exciting year in the 3D Printing industry.  With new entrants, new materials, new processes, there will be no shortage of important developments to stay on top of.  Here are a few top trends I see grabbing attention in 2018:

Extrusion metal printing. After years of there being zero metal extrusion printers, there will be two in the new year from Desktop Metal and Markforged.  These promise accessibility to new materials and a degree of user friendliness not currently offered by existing technologies.  It will be interesting to see how they deliver.

Metal printing reaches new markets. The arrival of metal extrusion technology and increasing awareness of the possibilities created by full sinter metal binder jetting will command market attention.  Because these systems should be able to deliver a lower cost alternative for certain geometries, expect to see increasing adoption of metal printing technology in industries like Energy, Automotive, and Industrial Products that couldn’t pencil a fully justified value proposition for powder bed metal printing.

Expansion of additive manufacturing as a production technology.  As more stories have found their way into market about improvements in performance offered by new designs that can only be manufactured additively, companies have been quietly investing in the technology. Expect to hear more announcements from companies that they have received approvals from government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Aviation Administration.

You can get more detail on each of these trends in my posts at mfrtech.com and at Quality Digest. I also had the chance to speak with Brad Kuvin at 3D Metal Printing in greater detail about these trends, so stay tuned for more on that discussion in the coming weeks.

What do you think will happen in 2018? Let me know in the comments below.

Come See 3Diligent at Inside 3D Printing San Diego

This year has taken 3Diligent all over the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Pittsburgh and to finish up the end of the year, I’ll be traveling just a few hours south of the 3Diligent headquarters to speak at Inside 3D Printing San Diego.

Inside 3D Printing San Diego is a professional 3D printing and additive manufacturing event focused on the latest innovations in the space. The event will take place December 4-5 at the Convention Center.

I got to meet R2D2 at last year’s show. Excited to see if BB8 will be there this year!
I got to meet R2D2 at last year’s show. Excited to see if BB8 will be there this year!

On Tuesday, December 5th, I am scheduled to present “Metal 3D Printing – An Overview of What’s Here Now and What’s to Come.” In this presentation, I’ll provide an overview of the metal 3D Printing landscape along with the strengths, drawbacks, and applications for the metal 3D Printing technologies currently in market. Additionally, I will share my perspectives on emerging metal 3D Printing technologies, in particular desktop extrusion technologies like Desktop Metal’s Studio Printer and MarkForged’s Metal X, among others.

If you’re attending the show, please stop by my presentation and say hello. Or if you’d prefer, you can contact me to schedule a one-on-one meeting.

I look forward to presenting my thoughts on 3D Printing one last time for 2017 and hope to see some of you there! Stay tuned for more great news from 3Diligent in 2018!

This Week: 3Diligent Talks Metal 3D Printing at FABTECH in Chicago

It’s hard to believe that there are just under two months left in 2017! It’s been a busy year for 3Diligent and things aren’t slowing down as I head out this week to FABTECH in Chicago!

FABTECH is taking place November 6-9, at McCormick Place, where more than 1,700 exhibitors and 50,000 attendees come together to explore the latest industry products and developments related to metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing.

I’m excited to share that while at the show I’ll present “Making Sense of Metal 3D Printing” where I will compare the range of different metal printing technologies, offering my perspective on their pros, cons, and common applications. I’ll cover a range of technologies including laser melting, electron beam melting, binder jetting with metal infiltration, directed energy deposition, nanoparticle jetting, and metal plating of plastic or resin parts.

If you’re interested in attending, I’ll be speaking on Wednesday, November 8 at 10:30 am in room S402A. You can get more information on my speaking topic here. If you’re attending the conference, but not available to join my talk you can contact me here if you’d like to schedule a meeting.

Looking forward to seeing all of the innovation in metal at FABTECH and hope to see some of you at the show. If you won’t be attending, stay tuned for details on my quick drive south for my talk at Inside 3D Printing San Diego next month!

3Diligent Adds 3D Printed Silicone to its Capabilities, Meeting Demands of Design Innovators

3Diligent Expands Broadest Range of 3D Printing Materials and Processes  

Los Angeles, Calif. – November 1, 20173Diligent announced today it has added silicone 3D Printing to its capabilities and is now accepting requests for quote (RFQs) and is processing orders in the material.

“Being able to 3D print silicone is an exciting innovation. At 3Diligent we strive to meet the 3D Printing needs of all designers and are pleased to expand our range of elastomeric materials with silicone,” said 3Diligent CEO Cullen Hilkene.

Silicone 3D Printing is enabling innovative product development in many industries. One industry especially interested in silicone printing is medical. From realistic silicone models for surgical training to 3D printed bandages applied directly to human skin to exploration of artificial hearts, silicone 3D Printing has the potential for many life altering and lifesaving applications in medicine.

This announcement expands 3Diligent’s ability to deliver the market’s broadest range of additive materials and processes, which includes metal, plastics, composites and now silicone. 3Diligent offers 3D PrintingCNC Machining, and Molding and Casting across hundreds of machines and materials.

When submitting an RFQ on the 3Diligent website for silicone 3D Printing, designers will use the same streamlined process as for other materials and processes. Customers can log onto the secure 3Diligent.com portal, upload their CAD design files, and type silicone as their desired material. Using its proprietary software, 3Diligent will identify the optimal silicone fabrication solution, issue a quote, and fulfill the order upon acceptance.

For more information on 3Diligent and its capabilities, visit http://www.3diligent.com/.


You can see the original shape of this silicone printed part, in the shape of a human liver
You can see the original shape of this silicone printed part, a model of a human liver in miniature
Printed silicone has oustanding elastomeric properties
Printed silicone has oustanding elastomeric properties


About 3Diligent

3Diligent is an innovative rapid manufacturing services provider offering CAD/CAM-based fabrication services such as 3D Printing, CNC machining, and Casting. 3Diligent uses data science to analyze customer requests for quote (RFQs) and identify optimal rapid manufacturing solutions across its network of qualified partners to fabricate better parts faster. 3Diligent’s next-generation approach to rapid manufacturing allows customers to simplify their procurement and rationalize its service provider list. 3Diligent counts companies from Fortune 500 enterprises to startups among its customers. For more information, visit http://www.3Diligent.com/.