Galina Spasova
Galina Spasova (Senior Research Analyst)

In our eBook, we discussed how vital strategic partnerships are for the development of the 3D printing industry. Throughout this year, we have witnessed a number of new partnerships centered around applications, technology, materials, education, and traditional manufacturers investing in 3D printing. Here we take a look at some noteworthy examples of the latest partnerships in this industry.

MakerBot + All Axis Robotics

At the TCT show in Birmingham, MakerBot unveiled its partnership with All Axis Robotics, a Texas-based leader in turnkey custom robot solutions for machine shops and manufacturing facilities. The robotics company is implementing MakerBot’s METHOD manufacturing workstation into its automation processes for custom tooling parts production. Engineers from All Axis Robotics revealed that by using 3D printing to produce custom tooling parts, lead times for their bespoke robot and effector designs have been reduced from months to hours. The in-house automation also allows All Axis Robotics to reduce hourly costs as much as to be competitive with companies that are outsourcing product manufacturing overseas.

Stratasys + Angel Trains+ DB ESG + Chiltern Railways

An announcement in September highlighted the successful trial of the first 3D printed parts deployed in an in-service passenger train in the UK. The partnership on this project consisted of the train operator Chiltern Railways, together with Angel Trains, one of the country’s leading train leasing companies. The implementation was made possible with the help of the 3D printing consultancy DB ESG and 3D printing equipment manufacturer Stratasys. The cross-industry collaboration team aims to overcome issues around replacement of parts that are no longer produced by the original manufacturer. The rail industry can benefit from custom small batch parts production considering that the number of fleets is comparatively small, with some trains over 30 years old.

3D Systems + TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG)

Another recently announced partnership is in the automotive industry, between 3D printing manufacturer 3D Systems and the German R&D center TOYOTA Motorsport. The two companies are joining forces to develop advanced 3D printing technologies and materials for high-performance applications in the automotive industry. TMG and 3D Systems are another example of a partnership that is pushing the boundaries of the 3D printing industry to transform the production, design, and engineering processes.

WeWork + Formlabs + Glowforge

The shared workplace hire company WeShare partnered with the 3D printing technology manufacturers Formlabs and Glowforge to equip selected WeWork labs with 3D printers. The effort aims to support corporate innovation as well as start-ups at early stages. WeWork customers in London, New York, Houston, and San Francisco will be able to take advantage of this technology. By making 3D printing more accessible to startups, WeWork and its partners Formlabs and Glowforge are opening a gateway to innovation into potential new applications of 3D printing technology.

There are numerous examples of how 3D printing is transforming various industries and traditional product design, made possible with partnerships between manufacturers and 3D printing experts. We look forward to visiting formnext 2019 in Frankfurt next month to see more examples of successful partnerships that transform traditional industries and expand the applications of 3D printing.

If you would like to find out more about IDC’s thoughts on the biggest trends in the 3D printing industry, please contact Galina Spasova.

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