A new Singapore-based digital platform, Hitch3DPrint, has launched to enable companies to take advantage of spare capacity in third-party metal Additive Manufacturing build lots. According to its founder, Dr Alexander Liu, the secure digital platform is aimed at making metal AM more accessible and affordable to smaller companies.
While adoption of the technology is accelerating within major companies, it is widely recognised that the high-cost of metal AM systems and builds continues to be a major hurdle to its adoption within smaller companies and for short product runs.
According to Hitch3DPrint, users of its new platform have the option to ‘hitch onto’ an AM build at a relatively attractive price point, due to the lack of additional set-up costs required. “In general, there is spare capacity in most metal print jobs,” reports the company. “Essentially, we are providing a platform that is based on a hitch concept, allowing users to hop onto a 3D print job, similar to that of hitching a car ride. The lead time is short and the price is around 30–50% cheaper.”
To take advantage of spare capacity in an AM build, users simply upload a file for an instant quotation from Hitch3DPrint and choose their preferred material and technology. The finished product will then be manufactured by one of the company’s global network of partners.
In total, the company reports that its users will have access to more than 4,000 Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) metal Additive Manufacturing systems. Taking into account the customer’s preferred AM technology and material, it stated that it is typically able to assign a request to a suitable build within three days of submission.