Ahead of the start of International CES comes CES Unveiled — highlighting what is going to be new and visible on the show floor of the largest annual consumer electronics show. 3D printing company Sculpteo was one of the companies to show its hand at CES Unveiled last night with the revelation that its latest feature is all set to take 3D printing beyond on-demand manufacturing and into mass-production.
Quite a claim — but one backed by the Sculpteo reputation for delivering and improving its 3D printing service since its launch five years ago. That’s reasonable longevity in the consumer facing 3D printing industry. However, with this latest development Sculpteo is targeting professionals and businesses with a 3D printing proposition that can fulfill short-run manufacturing requirements.
It seems a bit odd to me to announce a move away from the consumer to a more professional/industrial audience at a consumer show, but that little anomaly aside, let’s take a close look at Batch Control, which is the name Sculpteo has given this new service offering.
According to the company, the new Batch Control feature gives users greater control over the quality and pricing of multi-unit 3D printed orders, including, but not limited to:
• Visualization of your entire order inside the printer
• Optimized positioning of your models to give you the best price
• Instant per-unit pricing comparison when you change the quantity of prints
• Two levels of print resolution to modify the thickness of the print layers
• Three finishes including glossy varnish, satin polish, and double polish
• Ability to control the direction of the print layers within your objects by adjusting the z-axis orientation of your models
• Preview simulation of each layer of your print to ensure everything is correct.
One of the limitations of 3D printing to date is that it does not offer the same economies of scale as traditional manufacturing methods. However, Sculpteo are looking to address that particular issue with Batch Control, stating that customers can save up to 35% by ordering multiple units that are optimized for the 3D printing process with parts automatically arranged within the build volume of the 3D printer to optimize them and achieve the lowest price. The visualizer also illustrates any empty space, enabling the user to fill the extra space without necessarily paying more for the additional objects.
Clement Moreau, co-founder of Sculpteo commented on this new development: “Ordering multiple objects directly on our website turns 3D printing into a real manufacturing solution. By making it cost-effective for people to order higher volumes, Sculpteo is taking 3D printing beyond prototypes and on-demand manufacturing and into mass-production.”
To date Sculpteo has produced volume orders for several hardware companies including Withings, a line of smart products for consumers, and Camboutik, a range of specialized cameras for extreme sports.