“We tend to see firms experimenting with lower-cost 3D printers to assist in the development of early stage prototypes, and testing how 3D printing can transform their project development cycle,” said Joe Kempton, 3D printing analyst at Canalys. “Once they see how important and revolutionary the technology can be for their business on a larger scale, they tend to migrate to larger additive manufacturing systems and see dramatically improved time to market for their products.”
Robert Welch, a home goods designer based in the UK, used MakerBot and Stratasys 3D printers to prepare for manufacturing, push the boundaries of their ideas, speed up their production process and provide a clear picture of how their designs will translate into a finished product. MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers are used for early prototypes. Once the designed prototype is refined, they use a Stratasys Objet-line 3D Printer to print near-final designs that duplicate the real weight, feel and handling of their designs before they are sent to final production.
This trend is behind the move of Stratasys and MakerBot to cross-sell their products. Stratasys’ sales team, resellers and distributors are now selling MakerBot 3D Printers and MakerBot’s internal enterprise sales team is selling Stratasys products. MakerBot resellers and distributors are also able to become a part of the Stratasys partner program.
As seen from the above examples, both companies’ 3D printers fit into different stages of the product design and development cycle. If you are looking into Stratasys and MakerBot options, now you need only address one reseller for access to a larger portfolio of solutions.
“We believe that both Stratasys and MakerBot can greatly benefit from each other’s strengths – and so can our customers,” said Jonathan Jaglom, CEO at MakerBot. “This collaboration between the two companies gives our customers access to a larger suite of products that is designed to speed up the design process and lower costs. The partnership program also empowers sales partners to better consult their customers on how to make their product development processes more effective and gain a competitive edge.”
MakerBot 3D Printers allow low-cost, early-stage prototyping and enable employees to try more ideas by iterating on their designs earlier and more often. Once a design is iterated upon and finalized on a MakerBot, the engineer can send their design to a Stratasys 3D Printer to print the final product or a high quality prototype that meets the needs of more sophisticated product testing.
Stratasys helps professional customers with prototyping, tooling, manufacturing and many other aspects of product development. Organizations, hospitals and educators without access to Stratasys 3D Printers can start prototyping on a MakerBot and then use Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (SDM) to have high quality 3D prints and parts delivered to them in a variety of colors and materials.