Solving Supply Chain Issues with Distributed Manufacturing

Nov. 17, 2023
By enabling manufacturer-certified parts to be licensed and printed through Markforged's global 3D printer network, manufacturers can address common inventory and supply chain problems.

Digital Source is additive manufacturer Markforged’s new on-demand parts platform. Digital Source enables the licensing and 3D-printing of manufacturer-certified parts when and where they are needed by integrating 3D printing software, materials and hardware with end-to-end process control.

According to Markforged, Digital Source allows suppliers to upload digital part designs for secure licensing by customers, distributors and contract manufacturers. Once uploaded, Digital Source users can license the right to print parts on-site or through a network of approved print service providers.

“Digital Source not only can simplify logistics but also build resiliency into the supply chain and increase profitability as a result of these efficiencies,” said Shai Terem, CEO of Markforged. “With Digital Source, parts can be digitized and printed at the time and point of need without the need to be manufactured in advance, shipped and stored until needed.”

Markforged noted that “robust security safeguards digital part files, and encrypted print instructions are sent directly to printers to protect designs.”

BMF GmbH, a parts supplier of Digital Source, is a manufacturer of complex sand blasting machines with more than 200 installations worldwide, each featuring 60 printed components. These components are typically replaced every three to four months when machines are running at full capacity.

“We needed a significant amount of storage capacity to stock all the spare parts,” explained Ronny Bernstein, CEO of BMF. “With Digital Source, the component can be printed on-site the moment a failure or wear is detected.”

According to Markforged, “both suppliers and customers of Digital Source can benefit from reduced inventory costs and simpler replacement part operations and availability. Customers and service centers can print design revisions directly from Digital Source–removing the waste from the disposal of outdated parts and the risk of installing the wrong part version.”

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