If you just want to read the headline and start using this groundbreaking tool already, go ahead and click here.
One of the biggest questions I hear when talking to various people interested or embedded within the industry is: How do you keep track of all the new information? There are so many new 3D printers, new materials, new software, new companies, new devices and integrations that happen every week. The information blasts can be dizzying.
The follow up question is: How can I sort through this information? Someone needs to make a searchable database, so that people who are innovating or thinking about investing do not have to waste time searching and compiling their own data.
One approach would be to segment the industry data, first by the level of 3D printing, say, industrial and desktop 3D printers. Within those two categories, you could compile information about the machines and their materials and make it searchable and free for everyone. As far as I know, no one has created a searchable database for desktop 3D printers. As of today, (drumroll please) there is, however, a free, comprehensive and searchable database for industrial 3D printers. It’s called the Senvol Database.
3DPI first covered Senvol back in October of 2014, when they were announced as a Gold Member of America Makes. Back then, I said that Senvol was a company to keep an eye on and they have proved me right. Their new contribution to the industry is a tremendous step in the right direction and benefits everyone researching industrial 3D printing machines.
As a user of the Senvol Database, you will be able to search the archive with over 30 fields. For example, you can search by machine build size, material type, and material tensile strength. I know people have been looking for an informational tool this powerful and dynamic to save them from endless google-fu. It’s powerful, quick, comprehensive, and it’s also free to access and use.
Senvol President Zach Simkin commented, “We’re very excited by the Senvol Database because it’s an extremely useful tool for everyone in the additive manufacturing industry. There has been a growing need for a tool like this and we’re pleased to provide the industry with a solution.”
If you are a potential machine buyer who is curious to see what machines are on the market, or an engineer who wants to search for materials by specific material properties, you finally have your tool. I corresponded with Zach, and he provided a few examples of how the database can be used:
- By a service bureau that searches to see all of the materials (both OEM and 3rd party) that are compatible with the machines that it owns;
- By a design engineer with a specific application in mind who searches for nylon materials that have a flexural modulus of at least 1,800 MPa;
- By an industry financial analyst who searches to learn about all of the metal AM machines that are available.
I started by clicking on the “All” list for machines, and I noticed voxeljet was conspicuously absent. I emailed them and received a quick reply saying, “Hi Andrew, the database contains the most commonly used machines. That said, we are continually adding new machines to the database, and voxeljet is currently on the queue to be added.” Mystery solved.
My inside look at the company’s operations wasn’t due to being afforded special privileges. According to Senvol President Annie Wang, “Senvol very much values input and feedback from its user community.” So if you find any omissions or you have some comments, suggestions, or ideas, you can just email [email protected], and they will get back to you.
Well, thank you very much for reading all the way through.
To check out the Senvol Database and start your search, click here. Now, all we need is the same approach, but applied to desktop 3D printers.