Australian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) SPEE3D announced that the firm has partnered with Nupress, a machine tool shop also based in Australia, to provide Nupress’s customers with subscription services to SPEE3D hardware. Nupress’s clients will now have the option to pay a yearly fee to use SPEE3D’s patented cold spray metal additive manufacturing (AM) platform at Nupress’s Australian headquarters.
SPEE3D’s subscription payment model will give clients the choice of renting out one to six slots at a time, each slot representing 25 hours a month, 12 month access to one of SPEE3D’s WarpSPEE3D cold spray systems. As the name of both the company and the machine bluntly convey, cold spray metal AM is gaining increasing traction due to its sheer parts-per-day output advantage over all other metal AM techniques.
In addition to that shared commitment, the two companies also mesh perfectly in terms of the industries comprising both of their customer bases: heavy industrial sectors, like aerospace & defense and mining. Facilitating small production runs in high cost, low profit-margin sectors, which would be economically impossible with any other technology, is precisely the sort of job AM is optimal for. Offering a subscription service augments even further the potential for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to leverage metal AM.
Moreover, while subscription services for AM hardware have existed for as long as the sector’s latest boom phase, the speed of cold spray AM, in particular, makes it especially well-suited for a subscription model. The ability to allow customers to print a sufficient number of metal parts to turn a profit in as little as 25 hours a month is likely only even possible with cold spray.
Contract manufacturing SMEs are indispensable to overall global productivity, so much so that their long-term overstrain is perhaps the key factor in the recurring supply chain disruptions across the entire economy in recent years. The adoption of subscription models by a greater number of 3D printing OEMs would have an accelerating effect on the scale-up of the sector’s incorporation into broader supply chains.
This would be particularly advantageous in the US market, especially if the Biden administration’s AM Forward coalition is to meet its objectives for sourcing around 30 percent (give or take) 3D printed parts from SMEs within the next few years. Along with subsidies and tax credits for machine purchases, the wider embrace of subscription services by OEMs and service bureaus in the AM sector could be a key factor in determining the success of AM Forward, specifically, as well as in the sector more generally.
Images courtesy of SPEE3D
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