The Digital Warehouse at Markforged is where you can find a variety of products and services.

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New Digital Source platform revolutionizes the 3D printing industry by making it possible to license and print manufacturer-certified parts on demand. For years, the idea of a digital inventory replacing physical inventory has been a tantalizing prospect for manufacturers. The benefits of saving space, reducing maintenance costs, and increasing efficiency are hard to ignore. However, the gap between promise and reality has been substantial. That might be about to change with the introduction of Markforged’s Digital Source.

Digital Source is an innovative platform that allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to securely license their digital part designs to customers, distributors, and contract manufacturers. The process is straightforward: OEMs upload digital part designs to the platform, define a price for each part, and specify any critical requirements or intervals for usage. Customers can then access the platform to purchase and print these parts as needed.

One of the key advantages of Digital Source is that OEMs retain control and visibility of their digital part designs even after they have been shared. Traditionally, once a digital file is shared, OEMs lose control over it, with the risk of unauthorized modification or reverse engineering. Digital Source eliminates this risk by providing a closed feedback loop. OEMs can monitor the printer, ensure the correct materials are used, and conduct necessary tests to ensure the part is produced as intended.

Currently, the platform incorporates checks within the hardware and software to validate the receiving system for the digital file. The long-term goal is to extend this functionality to ensure compliance with post-processing requirements. For instance, if a part requires post-processing, OEMs will be able to guarantee that the facility performing the printing has the necessary capabilities. This provides peace of mind regarding the quality and compliance of the final product.

To illustrate the practical applications of Digital Source, Tripp Burd, Markforged’s director of new platforms, shared an example involving a German machine builder called BMF. BMF manufactures automated sandblasting cabinets and uses Markforged printers to produce parts for internal mechanisms. These parts often need to be replaced every few months due to the nature of the machine’s operation. Before Digital Source, BMF would stock and ship spare parts to customers, resulting in potential delays of a week or more.

By leveraging Digital Source, BMF can now bundle Markforged printers with their hardware and provide customers with secure catalogs of spare parts. Customers no longer need to have knowledge of 3D printing or design for additive manufacturing. They simply keep their machine operational and access the shared catalog whenever a spare part is needed. This not only benefits the customers by providing cost-effective parts and improved service but also reduces overhead and increases margins for BMF.

In summary, Digital Source marks a significant step towards the realization of a digital inventory system for 3D printing. With its secure licensing and on-demand printing capabilities, manufacturers can optimize their supply chain, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. The potential for OEMs to expand their footprint without the need for additional manufacturing facilities is a game-changer for the industry. With Digital Source, the promise of on-demand 3D printing is finally becoming a reality.

A Brand New Market Emerges: The Rise of Digital Supply Chain Tools

In the ever-evolving world of technology and innovation, new opportunities and markets are constantly emerging. One such market that’s been making waves recently is the digital supply chain industry. It’s an exciting field that offers a solution to the challenges faced by businesses expanding globally.

With the globalization of businesses, the need for distributors and service providers across different regions becomes vital. Traditionally, this would mean setting up local manufacturing facilities and dealing with various hurdles like customs, tariffs, and long lead times. However, thanks to digital supply chain tools, these challenges can now be overcome with ease.

So, what exactly is a digital supply chain tool? In simple terms, it is a software or platform that allows businesses to manage their distribution digitally. Instead of physically manufacturing components in different locations, businesses can now push jobs to third-party print services. This means that if a component is too large for the build envelope of the company’s printer, it can be outsourced to a supplier with the required capacity.

These tools also offer flexibility in production. For instance, if a company has a machine dedicated to producing on-demand spares, but suddenly faces a surge in orders, they can easily route the additional production jobs to the spare capacity of other machines. This ensures that peak demand can be met efficiently without the need for extensive investments in new machinery or facilities.

The benefits of digital supply chain tools are immense. Not only do they streamline the manufacturing and distribution process, but they also significantly reduce costs associated with setting up local facilities and dealing with customs and tariffs. Furthermore, the tools enable businesses to tap into the expertise and capacity of third-party print services, providing access to a global network of suppliers.

As the world continues to advance technologically, it’s crucial for businesses to embrace these new tools and adapt to the changing landscape. The digital supply chain industry is opening up a whole new range of possibilities, empowering businesses to expand their operations globally while minimizing the complexities associated with traditional manufacturing and distribution methods.

In conclusion, the rise of digital supply chain tools is revolutionizing the way businesses operate in a globalized world. The ability to distribute manufacturing digitally, leverage third-party print services, and optimize production capacity is a game-changer for businesses seeking to expand and meet increasing customer demands. Embracing these tools will help pave the way to success and growth in an ever-changing market.

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