New York-based 3D printing bureau Voodoo Manufacturing, has launched a new service, Fulfilled by Voodoo (FBV). FBV is a full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service that Voodoo hopes will make it easier for businesses to sell 3D printed products online, freeing them to focus “on the parts of business that matter most – like product development, growth and talking to customers.”
FBV connects directly to e-commerce storefronts, allowing businesses to outsource all aspects of manufacturing and fulfilment, including 3D printing, quality assurance, assembly, and shipping.
Iterating physical products like software
With FBV, products are produced as soon as orders are placed, known as “just-in-time” manufacturing. This eliminates the need to anticipate sales numbers and order units ahead of time, enabling businesses to continuously iterate products and make costly warehouses full of units obsolete.
Services like Squarespace and Shopify have made the non-manufacturing aspect of selling products online easy. Marketplaces like eBay and Etsy provide access to millions of customers in minutes. FBV is aiming to bring this easy accessibility to additive manufacturing. As part of this, Voodoo has created an API allowing plug-and-play integration for FBV with shopfronts and marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Shopify.
Voodoo wants to shift focus away from manufacturing, allowing businesses to:
“React to current events and trends. React to customer feedback. React to competition. This is what building a software product is like today, and this is what manufacturing will be like tomorrow.”
Zooheads, an FBV proof of concept
Zooheads sells 3D printed animal shower-heads. Powered by FBV, every time a customer buys a product, the order is sent to Voodoo’s robot powered 24 hour factory, where it is 3D printed, inspected and shipped to the customer. Zoohead has no inventory, no warehouses filled with stock waiting to be shipped, and no need to predict sales numbers.
With FBV, Zooheads has the agility of a software product company. New products can be released every week, allowing the company to react to popular trends without worrying about overheads or minimum sales numbers.
Others leveraging just-in-time 3D printing
“Just in time implants” is a new $9.3 million USD collaboration between the Australian Government, RMIT University, the University of Technology Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and medical implant specialist Stryker. The project is aiming to bring just-in-time production of bone implants to hospital cancer wards.
INTAMSYS is another company offering on-demand 3D printing services for engineers and designers who do not have access to 3D printers.
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Featured image shows Voodoo Manufacturing’s 24 hour 3D printing Project Skywalker. Clip via Voodoo Manufacturing