While numerous proponents of 3D printing around the world work tirelessly toward seeing that everyone experiences the affordability and accessibility of the technology that is impacting so many different sectors with great and positive substance, often we just consider those goals to be directed at the novice, individual desktop user or for the classroom—and often in developing areas when it comes to education.
But another very important ‘developing area’ is that of businesses who have 3D printing needs but lack industrial or commercial equipment. This is where Fictiv comes in. We haven’t checked in with Fictiv since last year, when the fledgling, web-based platform that distributes 3D printing jobs to the appropriate venues was partnering with San Francisco based 3D printing company Moddler. Now, they are officially launching the company, proven and with a strong network in place.
“Fictiv dramatically reduced our iteration time by getting us high quality prints within days, with no extra time spent on our end preparing parts for a print, setting up a printer, or cleaning and finishing parts,” said Abe Fetterman, CTO at Nomiku. “Fast turnaround and less hands-on time meant our time could be spent where it was needed most: designing our product.”
As a manufacturing platform, the Fictiv goal is not just to give small enterprises a way to meet their 3D printing needs but to do so at unprecedented speed, with the goal of transforming the hardware development process altogether due to their vetted and growing network of 3D printing machines.
“When building hardware products, speed to market is everything. By providing 3D printed parts in 24 hours, engineers and designers are able to bring their ideas to reality, ultimately accelerating innovation. Fictiv is grateful to work with incredible customers and partners and the team is excited to take another step towards democratizing manufacturing,” Dave Evans, co-founder of Fictiv, told 3DPrint.com.
They have also just announced the addition of CNC capabilities to their network as well. This means customers have access to precision prototypes quickly, and while it might be considered more traditional technology, this means that Fictiv’s platform is not limited. The focus is on quality and speed, speed, speed!
“We founded Fictiv with the vision to build a more efficient manufacturing ecosystem,” said Evans. “Fictiv is designed to empower engineers and designers with the tools and expertise needed to produce better hardware products, in significantly less time.”
With CNC machining capabilities on the menu as well, users know that they are able to dip their toes in the water and check components out before going full force in manufacturing. Parts meant for high-precision performance can be fully tested before high-volume production begins, covering parts for applications in areas like automotive, aerospace, medical and consumer electronics.
“The real cost of hardware development is the time wasted in the inefficiency of prototyping products,” said Evans. “With Fictiv, our customers get CNC or 3D printed prototypes quickly and seamlessly, while benefitting from a wide variety of machines and materials that enables engineers to find the right tool for the job. This greatly accelerates their development cycles for faster iterations to give our customers an unparalleled competitive advantage.”
Rather than turnarounds of three weeks, customers will enjoy seeing their prototypes in three days. That type of speed is extremely beneficial in the workplace, allowing for immediate feedback, streamlined workflow, and better products all around. When an engineer comes to Fictiv with a project, all they have to do is upload their drawing and look forward to a quote within the hour. After the order is placed, the design is matched with the appropriate vendor who has an available machine.
Companies like Radicand, a design consulting firm and incubator, are already reaping the benefits:
“Creative hardware engineering requires that Radicand continuously test the limits of what we can do, which can mean tough fabrication challenges when we prototype,” said Scott Steber, Director of Engineering. “Fictiv gives us one platform to manage all of our prototyping projects, regardless of material or size specifications and the insight from their engineers has been valuable in getting us better parts, faster.”
CNC machining from Fictiv is available for the following materials:
- Nylon 6/6
- Delrin 150
- 6061 Aluminum
- 303 Stainless Steel
- 304L Stainless Steel
- 316L Stainless Steel
The company’s ‘distributed approach’ not only promotes streamlined workflow and allows for accessibility for small businesses, but local manufacturing ecosystems are supported, using their equipment to greater capacity rather than watching it sit idle. Fictive sees it as their responsibility to contribute to building a distributed and agile economy.
“The US was once the center of manufacturing in the world,” says Nate Evans, co-founder of Fictiv. “Today the country is still filled with some of the best manufacturing minds and expertise globally. However, many of these shops have been left behind without the needed technology and tools to compete against larger, centralized manufacturers.
“Fictiv is building a technology infrastructure to allow engineers and designers better access these experts, while catalyzing local economies to spur growth.”
Is this a service you have been looking for? Discuss further over in the Fictiv 3D Printing and CNC Machining forum at 3DPB.com.