One of the significant drawbacks to 3D printing is the time it takes to fabricate an object. And, because not everyone has access to the technology, they may end up relying on a third party to produce parts for them, making the time it takes to receive a print even longer. 3D printing studio FATHOM, however, is attempting to tackle this issue with same-day and next-day options for the firm’s digital fabrication services.
With production centers in Oakland and Seattle, FATHOM offers customers same-day shipping and pick-up (by 5pm), as well as next-day shipping and pick-up (by 5 pm) alongside their standard delivery options. Rather than order a mass manufactured part, this gives prototyping designers and engineers the ability to obtain their own custom designs in the same day. Essentially, this one-ups Amazon’s own same-day prime delivery with the complete customization power of 3D printing.
As powerful as this may be, these services are not open to every 3D printing technology that FATHOM offers. Same-day is limited to PolyJet 3D printing in single-material Vero and multi-material VeroWhite+/TangoBlack+. Orders for same-day shipping ($150 minimum) must also be placed by 10 am, fit within a 240mm x 100mm x 40mm build envelope, and include less than twenty parts per order and will be subject to rush fees.
Next-day is expanded slightly to include PolyJet for single-material TangoBlack+, VeroWhite+, VeroBlack+, VeroClear, ABS-Like, and multi-material VeroWhite+/TangoBlack+, as well as FDM printing for ABSplus/M30 (White), PC (White), ASA (White), PC-ABS (Black), and Nylon12 (Black). Also limited to orders of $150 or more, next-day orders must be submitted by 4 pm and are “Subject to Geometry, Sizing, Quantity of Parts, and Build Times”, and also incurring rush fees.
Outside of these services, FATHOM also 3D prints in a wide variety of materials for PolyJet, FDM, SLS, and DMLS with standard lead times. And, while those expedited orders may have some important caveats, like the technology and materials used, this is a significant improvement for delivery times. For engineers working on time-sensitive projects to the eccentric artist who must have their vision in their palms by nightfall, these options could be perfect for anyone in need of fast 3D printing services. Who knows, maybe when Carbon 3D’s CLIP technology or Carima’s C-CAT process come online, FATHOM will be able to get prints to their clients even more quickly. And, as the technology improves, they’ll even give Amazon a run for their money.