3D Printing Service Providers


The world of additive manufacturing is highly dependent on 3D printing service providers. These firms were the first adopters and the primary drivers of the industry’s growth. In the early days, 3D printing service providers were mainly rapid prototyping services, that could offer design and printing capabilities to help firms with product development. As AM technologies evolved a new “breed” of service providers began to emerge focusing on customized final parts production (either tools or actual product parts and even complete end-use products), for both businesses and consumers.

As the leading global 3D printing services began to build larger machine parks more and more firms entered the industry offering rapid prototyping and small-batch production services, creating a global network of firms that begin to enable one of AM’s ultimate goals: distributed manufacturing. At the same time, the larger AM service firms began to evolve into actual additive manufacturing factories, introducing higher degrees of automation and streamlined digital workflows.

Now, with AM becoming more ubiquitous throughout global manufacturing, AM service providers will continue to be one of the key access points to on-demand, additive digital production, by allowing access to their technologies on-demand, without requiring high initial CapEx. In doing so they continue to enable firms to familiarize themselves with the needs and benefits of AM technologies, as they build the necessary know-how to internalize them, at least to some extent.

In 3dpbm‘s definition, AM service providers generally fit into two main categories: application-agnostic AM service provider and application-specific AM service providers. The first are firms that possess deep know-how in a variety of different AM technologies. As such they are able to provide AM services to a variety of adopting industries. The second are firms that possess a deep know-how of a particular vertical of manufacturing and begin to introduce additive manufacturing to either offer specialized AM services for other firms operating in the same segment, or even directly 3D printed parts. There are also several sub-categories: all these are presented in the dedicated section of 3dpbm’s 3D Printing Business Directory, where we list more than 1,200 verified service bureaus, divided into 12 key subcategories.

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