By Jim Bartel, SVP of strategy, marketing and business development, of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
On January 1, Stratasys formed one of the world’s largest advanced manufacturing service centers, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, through the combination of Solid Concepts, Harvest Technologies and RedEye. Here at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, we couldn’t be more excited about what the combination means for the future of our company, our customers and the manufacturing industry as a whole. Here’s why.
Three Legacies Become One
Simply put, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing was formed to best facilitate the revolution of additive manufacturing (AM) and meet the needs of our customers. So why these three companies? On top of a shared vision for the future of the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, as well as similar business models, each of these three legacy companies brought their own unique expertise and assets to the table.
It may sound cliché, but uniting these unique firms has created one company that is greater than the sum of its parts. Through Harvest Technologies and Solid Concepts, we gained access to nearly 35 years’ worth of Laser Sintering (LS) process knowledge and expertise. With metal materials experiencing major growth in the AM industry, it was imperative to have the market leaders on our team. And with RedEye, we have the foremost experts on Stratasys’ Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. The combination means Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has eight locations throughout the United States and a number of production facilities worldwide through our Global Manufacturing Network, giving us the capacity and footprint to fulfill customers’ needs whenever, wherever.
A Unified Vision
Having a shared vision in bringing AM to the next level and adapting the technology to more industries and applications was a primary reason why these three companies joined together. Whether it was Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies pioneering flight certified parts, or RedEye building the first 3D printed car in Urbee, we all sought to push the boundaries of what AM can do.
Our broad array of technologies and expanded capacity will allow us to not just push boundaries but shatter them. With 11+ advanced manufacturing technologies in-house, ranging from FDM and LS to CNC machining and tooling, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is able to provide customers with a streamlined production experience they can’t find anywhere else. Greater capacity also allows us to meet customers’ growing needs for end-use parts in a number of critical markets, including aerospace, medical and automotive. These verticals represent significant growth areas for us because AM is able to produce the high-quality, lightweight parts they desire in an efficient way that helps save companies time and money.
We don’t know exactly what the future will hold in this rapidly changing industry, but for Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, we believe that the future of better, more efficient and environmentally-conscious manufacturing rests in the hands of 3D printing. We’ll enable that future by facilitating the advancement of an additive manufacturing ecosystem. In addition to leveraging our existing assets, including our full range of printers, materials and in-house talent, we’ll further collaborate with the entire Stratasys organization to provide customers the most complete 3D printing solutions offering available.
One of the most exciting developments in the industry is the rapid expansion and sophistication of materials, opening up new applications and markets for AM. While using AM for end-use parts was a distant goal at the industry’s inception, today there are numerous flame rated, heat-, smoke- and toxicity-certified, biocompatible, aerospace-ready materials available for production purposes using FDM, LS, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and even 3D printing human cells through bioprinting. Many of the materials available to machining or injection molding are now available with AM as well, such as stainless steel, polycarbonate, ABS, ULTEM, titanium and aluminum. As material options expand and advance the mechanical properties of AM, allowing the technology to be used for an even greater amount of applications, we foresee an increased adoption of AM as a primary manufacturing method across all industries.
The combination of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing answered global demand from our aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer and energy customers. Together, our combined resources position us to accelerate innovation and product development for a dynamically changing manufacturing world.
Let us know what you think about these developments and advances in the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing forum thread over at 3DPB.com.
Jim Bartel is senior vice president of strategy, marketing, and business development for Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, one of the world’s largest providers of rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing services. He joined Stratasys in 2012 as Vice President and General Manager of RedEye, the on-demand 3D printing service bureau business. Prior to joining Stratasys, he served as President of ATEK Products and Vice President of Marketing at ATEK Companies. Jim has held senior leadership positions over the past 20 years in manufacturing companies focused on the design, development and marketing of proprietary products as well as contract manufacturing services. He earned a BA in Economics and Management from Hartwick College in New York, and holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota.