On-Demand Manufacturing Services

3Diligent ProdEX screenshot
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What is On-Demand Manufacturing?

Sometimes called cloud manufacturing, the services offered by 3Diligent are commonly known as on-demand manufacturing. 3Diligent ProdEX is a cloud-based, proprietary application that enables a customer to submit an RFQ for the rapid manufacturing of a component, or many components.

On-demand manufacturing benefits developers, business owners, engineers and others by enabling them to order bespoke components online. Quotes on submitted RFQs are instantaneous and provided only by service bureaus and job shops capable of producing the prototype or short run exactly to spec.

Traditional manufacturing plants would reject an order for a single prototype or short-run, or assess a cost so exorbitant as to make the production unaffordable and unfeasible.

On-demand manufacturing is disruptive to the traditional supply chain. No longer must an industrial operator wait weeks for a replacement part. Now parts can be manufactured and delivered in as little as a single day. Read The Disruptive impact of a 3D Printed Replacement Part on the F-35 and Beyond.

Give 3Diligent a try with your next prototype, product, or production run. Click the button to create a free account to begin the easy process.

What is Additive Manufacturing?

With 3Diligent’s on-demand additive-manufacturing service, components are created by adding layer upon layer per instructions derived from CAD software or 3D object scanners. Bonding of the layers is achieved through the melting or partial melting of the materials as each layer is added.

For some, 3D printing and rapid prototyping are subset classifications of additive manufacturing, but for others—including 3Diligent—the terms are used interchangeably.

Manufactured components are typically lighter and stronger than counterparts created through casting or injection-molding processes. Additive manufacturing can be executed with a wide variety of materials such as powdered metal, thermoplastics, composites, and ceramics.

3Diligent ProdEX is a cloud-based platform in which .stl files generated by CAD software are uploaded into the application. Once uploaded, the user can select a material and process for which a quote is generated. Acceptance of a quote will begin the manufacturing process.

3Diligent offers a number of 3D printing or additive-manufacturing services including binder jettingdirected energy depositionmaterial extrusionmaterial jettingpowder bed fusion, and vat photopolymerization, as wells as thousands of material options. 

If you would like to create a project using additive manufacturing, click this button to create a free account and submit an RFQ.

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3Diligent example process: 3D printing
3Diligent example processing: drilling
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What is Subtractive Manufacturing?

In contrast to additive manufacturing, another on-demand manufacturing service class is subtractive manufacturing. This is the removal of material—such as wood, plastic, or metal—from a solid block. With subtractive manufacturing, the component gets smaller as it is manufactured whereas in additive manufacturing, the component gets larger.

Though computer numerical control, or CNC, is common, it is also possible to perform subtractive manufacturing manually, as is the case when an artist carves a sculpture. CNC is becoming more commonplace than a human machinist.

Most metal manufacturing processes are subtractive. 3Diligent options include a boring service, braiding service, punching service, waterjet cutting service, EDM service, milling service, routing service, turning service, and others.

Subtractive manufacturing offers a variety of smooth surface finishes compared to additive where the layers often leave visible tiers in the final product. Machining parts with undercuts or hollow areas can also be challenging using machining—features easily produced with 3D printing. Machining processes may e more expensive than other types of manufacturing.

What is Rapid Manufacturing?

Rapid manufacturing is a term applied to processes in which components are created using various technologies and materials. Unlike traditional manufacturing, this class of technologies produce products much faster than methods such as casting or plastic injection molding. Commonly, a computer-aided design (CAD) file is used to govern the manufacturing process.  Rapid manufacturing technologies are particularly used for prototyping and short or limited runs.

Since time from design-to-part is much faster than traditional methods, variable costs are commonly higher while up front costs are typically significantly less.  

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing (see above) is a rapid manufacturing process. In additive manufacturing, products are built using a computer to create the workpiece by adding one layer at a time based upon a CAD drawing. Each piece is built using the same drawing and so accuracy is maintained from piece to piece.

Machining, referenced above, is another rapid manufacturing process.  The computer numerical controlled (CNC) version of machining is automated, and as a result also very fast from design to part.   

Rapid manufacturing is used for a wide variety of components, from electronic to medical devices. A number of industries find benefit in these processes, including automotive, aerospace, medical and dentistry, and industrial.

If you would like to try rapid manufacturing for your next project, click the button to create a free account to begin the easy process.

3Diligent example of medical device created with rapid manufacturing
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Terry Trumbull, VP of Electro-Mech Components, Aerospace Industry

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. We were very satisfied with the experience.

Driving technology for leading brands.

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The evolution from prototyping to production is different for every project, calling for different machines, materials, and investments every step of the way.  No provider can offer everything you could need under a single roof, especially in the rapidly evolving space of digital manufacturing—and when companies try, it makes even the most basic jobs exorbitantly expensive.

That’s where 3Diligent has been designed to be different.  Using the power of cloud computing, 3Diligent leverages a global network of qualified manufacturers to complete custom manufacturing projects on demand.

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