Looking for a fast and secure way to quote components as part of the production process? Print3D, which provides rapid prototyping services, is offering a new spin on the process with its free, pricing engine plug-in that works with major CAD systems.
Company officials tout Print3D version 1.0 as a tool that makes ordering designs into production as easy as sending a document to a printer. The way it works is as follows: CAD users receive real-time, guaranteed quotes for plastic or metal prototypes for whatever components they have open in their modeling workspace. Using the tool’s integrated interface, users can customize their order, adding paint and finish options, and then sending the request to rapid prototyping facilities directly from their 3D modeler.
Print3D claims it’s the first rapid prototyping bureau to develop an offline method of pricing and ordering parts. Officials say the approach is optimal because it gives CAD users the opportunity to iteratively check costs throughout the course of the design process and it’s also more secure than online ordering methods employed by competing bureaus. When it comes time to order, Print3D automatically packages designs into a password-encrypted data stream that is sent directly to the company’s secure FTP site, officials explained.
Print3D offers next-day delivery on most simple SLA and SLS plastic prototypes and two- to three-day delivery on more complicated orders. The plug-in works with a variety of CAD applications, including AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Alibre Design and SpaceClaim.