US General Services Administration Streamlines 3D Printing Purchasing with 3D Systems

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Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.45.40 PMThe US government just made it that much easier for its agencies to purchase 3D printing services. As you probably know, government agencies can’t just run out and pick things up at the corner store. Instead, they are bound to make their purchases through the General Services Administration‘s (GSA) Schedules program. The Schedules program offers a series of catalogs of goods and services that are offered at special pricing for direct sale to government.

3D Systems is the lucky company to have made the grade for inclusion in this catalog. And it’s no small pickings either. The GSA Schedules program accounts for nearly $50 billion a year in spending, a whopping 10% of all federal procurement spending. 3D printing has been on the radar for quite some time now, but the government can’t just turn on a dime every time there is a new innovation. So, although it may seem a bit slow on the uptake, it’s certainly better late than never.

Walter Johnson, a GSA/Federal Acquisition Service Contract specialist, explained the approach taken by GSA to this new offering:phillips gsa

“GSA is focused on being the standard bearer for 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing by developing a total solution approach for all federal agencies requiring this technology. The total solution approach GSA is designing will provide a wide range of 3D printing technology, consumable materials, ancillary equipment, imaging devices, software, and rapid prototyping services. We are excited to have Phillips bring 3D Systems and their expansive portfolio to this program.”

It will now be easier than ever for government agencies to purchase any of 3D Systems’ broad range of products, from 3D printers and software to scanners to cloud-based manufacturing services. Ron Schulze, President of Phillips Federal, the partner agency for 3D System, is not the least bit doubtful of the positive benefits to be had with this addition when he brought this proposal to the GSA.

“From the United States Congress’ Architect of the Capitol to the National Institutes of Health, and from NASA to the Armed Forces, our customers receive outstanding service. But this new GSA listing offers something even more – access to the most cutting edge 3D design and fabrication tools,” Schulze said. “We are truly proud to offer 3D Systems’ suite of products to America’s public servants.”

3dsOn top of the offering of equipment and software, the GSA is hosting a portal for 3D printing and manufacturing that will allow government customers easy access to the cloud-based manufacturing services offered by 3D Systems. The portal, named Quickparts, lets them upload CAD files and receive instant price quotes for a variety of services from rapid prototyping to investment casting.

3D Systems’ Vice President of Alliances & Partnerships, Neal Orringer, hails this newest addition to the Schedules program as a firm step into the heart of the 21st century:

“The GSA has incomparable reach across the country. Since its founding 66 years ago, the GSA has been pivotal to ensuring the government customer receives critical products at the best taxpayer value. Today, we are proud to support this legacy in a uniquely 21st century fashion – extending our digital thread to every federal agency and in every state in the nation.”

The GSA schedule through Phillips Federal will now make available the entire line of 3D Systems’ products and services for a 20-year contract period through a GSA contract with Phillips (Contract GS-03F-080CA) in a 3D Design-to-Print product lineup. Among the notable offerings are the Industrial ProX 3D printers featuring SLS, SLA, and DMP technologies; ProJet printers featuring ColorJet and MultiJet fechnologies; desktop 3D printers Cube and Cube Pro; Geomagic scanners and software; and QuickParts GSA Portal for on-demand design, functional prototyping, and production-ready parts.  What are your thoughts on this story?  Let us know in the US Government 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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