By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Today’s Check It Out is about Quickparts, the online manufacturing services company that provides 3D printing and injection molding services. But the write-up has two distinct parts: News that’ll interest you and a sample deal that lets you hold and see what these guys can do for you. Here we go.
If you follow what’s been happening, you know that 3D Systems has been on a roll the past few years acquiring small- and mid-sized companies, and bringing brilliant technologies and their expertise together. One of the earliest acquisitions was Quickparts.
It was a smart move, not just because Quickparts could be counted on to deploy more 3D additive manufacturing systems, but because Quickparts had and has the right stuff. It came with expertise in most all additive-manufacturing technologies, such as cast urethane, SLA, and SLS. It provides clients with rapid injection molds, machined plastic prototypes, parts, and tooling in volumes large or small. And it has its patented QuickQuote instant price quoting technology — probably the first of its kind; not 100% sure on that. This technology takes the 3D part geometry you upload and analyzes it along with, the materials you specify, lead times, and quantities, then it provides you a detailed quote and a design analysis report.
Back in the late ’90s when it opened, Quickparts grew fast because it had tapped into the demand for outsourced, top-shelf, efficient, and cost-effective rapid prototyping and molding services. Or, as business talking heads say, their core competencies let you focus on yours. And it seems that Quickparts is still growing not just as a business, but in core competencies.
See, Quickparts is now Quickparts Solutions. This just happened, and without a lot of fanfare. Well, I guess this constitutes fanfare, but anyway What this means on the surface is that a number of acquisitions made by 3D Systems have been brought under the Quickparts umbrella.
And who are these outfits? In no particular pecking order, they are Design Prototyping Technologies, known for fast turnaround of high-quality functional parts and prototypes; on-demand additive and traditional manufacturing service provider Rapid Product Development Group; Acu-Cast Technologies, a rapid prototyping and manufacturing services provider with a knack for finishing, molding, and casting; Moeller Design for premium precision investment castings and prototyping for aerospace, medical device, and similar demanding engineers; and 3Dproparts, 3D Systems’ own precision plastic and metal parts and assemblies service.
What this means for you is that Quickparts Solutions now offers a wide suite of prototyping and manufacturing capabilities. If you go to their website, you can explore the full depth and breadth of all this by clicking on the tabs. For example, hitting Investment Casting Patterns shows you QuickCast, ProJet Wax, and Voxeljet patterns. Rapid Prototyping has the additive technologies, sheet metal, plaster mold casting, metal casting, and others.
But you don’t have to guess what kind of craftsmanship Quickparts Solutions offers. Hit today’s Check it Out link and it’ll take you to a page where you can order a sample SLA, SLS, or cast urethane part in your choice of material, such as ABS-like, flame-retardant nylon, and so on. A fourth option lets you request an injection mold sample. It shows 10 design features specific to that process like knit lines, bosses, ribs, and undercuts. Ordering requires a sign up of course, and, the company says, you’ll have your sample in three days.
My contact sent me some samples. The injection molding one caught my eye. So did the Accura 60 sample. It’s an SLA part. It’s clear as water. Good stuff here. Check it out. It’s worth it.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering