Industrial 3D printing service 3Diligent describes itself as “the 3D printing partner for every business,” and compares itself to companies like Uber and Amazon in that it uses a wide Internet network to connect customers to vendors. Since its launch, 3Diligent has rapidly acquired a large base of customers attracted to its reliable and innovative bidding structure. Now, the California-based company has expanded its services with the launch of 3Diligent Select, a new feature that makes the process of selecting vendors even more personal and direct than before.
“We are excited to publicly announce the release of our 3Diligent Select feature,” said 3Diligent CEO Cullen Hilkene. “For customers coming up the curve on our service or who have criteria that need to be met beyond the ability to produce a part on time and to spec, this feature will provide a big benefit.”
How the site has always worked is that a customer will submit a Request for Quote (RFQ) on their desired part or service. Interested vendors will offer their bids, at which point the customer will select the offer that best meets their needs. Until now, those RFQs were released to a list of eligible vendors selected via an automated algorithm based on the material, process, and finish requirements provided by the customer. 3Diligent Select refines that process and allows the customers to have more control over the vendors who see their RFQs.
“We found that while many customers appreciated getting their RFQ quickly into the hands of capable engineers for competitive bidding, others actually wanted fewer vendors. For instance, only vendors with particular certifications or domestic production,” said Hilkene. “Some also liked the idea of complementing our strict confidentiality provision by limiting the number of vendors who would ever see a design.”
Customers can still use the traditional automated selection system if they wish, but to take advantage of 3Diligent Select, all they have to do is check a box and their RFQ will be routed into a special queue, at which point 3Diligent representatives will personally consult with the customer and further refine the vendor criteria based on that customer’s input.
This should greatly appeal to customers who prefer dealing with people rather than machines, and will allow for much quicker turnaround. While the rapid expansion of 3D printing technologies across so many industries is undoubtedly a good thing, it can also get overwhelming for customers looking for something very specific. While 3Diligent is specifically geared towards the provision of industrial 3D printed parts, their services still encompass a dizzying array of options that include more than 10 different additive manufacturing processes and a multitude of materials.
“In the past few years, there has been an explosion of new technologies and materials in the Additive Manufacturing market, with more to come. The trouble is that no brick and mortar business can possibly carry all of the 3D Printing options on the market,” Hilkene said. “When customers inevitably bump up against the limitations of their in-house capability or a neighborhood 3D Printing provider, finding another vendor with the right material, process, and availability to support a customer can be impossible to find – especially for a fast turnaround.”
3Diligent Select is currently being offered free of charge – for a limited time – to existing 3Diligent customers. According to Hilkene, customers can expect a lot more to come from the company this year.
“3D Select represents the first in several product enhancements we expect to release in 2016,” he said. “We are excited to announce 3D Select as part of our commitment to supporting customers seeking fast and affordable industrial 3D Printing and service providers seeking to get more out of their industrial 3D Printing investments.”
Thoughts on these new services and features? Discuss in the 3Diligent Select Feature forum over at 3DPB.com.