Feb 28, 2017 | By David

The work of 3D printer manufacturer Type A Machines is something that we’ve reported on before with a lot of enthusiasm, and the company is poised to continue its success thanks to a new partnership with product development center BriteLab. Type A intends to greatly increase production of its Series 1 3D printer to meet global demand for the award-winning machine, and will be taking full advantage of what BriteLab has to offer, entering into a contract partnership with the facility in San Jose that will streamline the whole manufacturing process, from design to distribution.

Type A Machines’ Series 1 line of FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) printers were a major step forward for the 3D printing industry, featuring support for up to 80 different materials, as well as offering full integration into the company’s other big innovation, the Print Pod. The Print Pod is a centrally managed parallel production system, allowing a 3D printer to connect with up to 60 of its siblings, creating a huge production line. This additive manufacturing solution offers a much lower cost-per-part than injection molding, opening up new opportunities for print farms, classrooms, and other environments making use of 3D technology.

Type A Machines’ breakthroughs have contributed to the growth of the 3D manufacturing market, which doubled in size from 2015 to 2016. Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to reach 6.7 million units by 2020, according to technology research firm Gartner, and the San Leandro-based company is now hoping to keep pace with this increase in demand. This is where BriteLab comes in. The facility is a combination of factory, design and engineering studio, and startup incubator, offering a holistic product development experience to a broad range of different projects. It will be providing Type A Machines with DFM (Design for Manufacturing), SCM (Supply Chain Management), and NPI (New Product Integration) services for production of the Series 1 3D printer line.

The BriteLab facility, formerly known as E Systems Technology before a major rebrand last November, is part of a strong ecosystem of service providers in the Bay Area, supporting the needs of more and more local companies that are starting to see the huge advantages of manufacturing in the region. As opposed to outsourcing the final production phases offshore, producing the Series 1 3D printer line locally will enable Type A Machines’ designers and engineers to stay intimately involved with the process. Maintaining control over their intellectual property is another crucial goal for companies such as Type A Machines, which motivates them to manufacture their products locally. IP diffusion, whereby a company’s ideas for a project are copied or stolen, eventually leads to a drift in quality as offshore suppliers try to make a quick profit. This can negatively affect product reputation, which is potentially fatal for a relatively new company such as Type A Machines.

The opportunity to contribute to the regional economy was also a factor that influenced the collaboration, according to Type A Machines CEO Andrew Rutter. "Manufacturing in the U.S. was an important consideration in our selection of an OEM partner," he says, as the team "feel an obligation to improve [their] local jobs economy."

It’s exciting to see the popularity of 3D printing grow exponentially thanks to the work of companies like Type A Machines, and what makes these developments even more encouraging is the potential for companies not directly involved, such as BriteLab, to benefit, as well as local economies. This collaboration sees 3D technology evolving in a way that helps everyone, and we hope to see this more and more in the future.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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