Sep 1, 2017 | By David

Dassault Systèmes has become a major player in the 3D printing industry over the last decade, mostly due to its advanced 3D design software as well as the useful integration of design, simulation and production tools provided by its 3DExperience platform. A productive collaboration with Airbus has also seen the French company at the forefront of 3D printing’s expansion into the aerospace sector. It could now be on the cusp of bringing about another minor revolution in the worlds of 3D printing technology and manufacturing, as it has announced a new business strategy that will make all its products available for free.

License fees for Dassault Systèmes’ impressive range of 3D design and printing solutions can be prohibitively expensive for many companies, with its multi-platform software suite CATIA costing around EUR 15,000. This is all set to change, as the company transitions towards a new economic model. Users will be able to access CATIA, Solidworks, Simulia and all other Dassault Systèmes products entirely free of charge.

Instead of charging to use its software, the company will be rolling out a new online intermediation platform, or a ‘marketplace’, which will generate revenue according to a commission-based system. Once a project is completed, and the design is sent to a 3D printing service or company for the final stage of production, Dassault Systèmes will charge a fee to the 3D printing provider based on the value of the product.

Users of Dassault’s design products will effectively pass their 3D model on to the company to generate a production order for the chosen 3D printing service to process. This intermediation is what customers will be paying for, as well as Dassault’s considerable 3D printing knowledge and expertise. It will be able to correct and optimize the orders that it processes, quickly evaluating their feasibility, the specified materials and the choice of 3D printers used to realize them.

This transition from charging a customer for software to charging them for intermediation is reflective of the general movement of the digital industries towards a platform-based economic model. It is this model that saw companies such as Uber attain such rapid growth, with the company’s success based on its facilitating transactions as opposed to directly providing a service.

Dassault CEO Pascal Dalloz sees online retailer Amazon as a model for the future of his company’s business operations. According to him,  ''What Amazon has done for (retail), we want to do for the design, manufacture, and...distribution of industrial goods. That's the concept of the market place... what used to be called the supply chain, with prime contractors and subcontractors, will shatter.’’ He wants to enable manufacturers to ''find the skills and resources available at the best price, no matter where in the world, while guaranteeing the result in terms of compliance and traceability."

This is a continuation of a process started by Dassault Systèmes back in 2012, with the release of the 3DExperience platform. This unified environment was developed in order to integrate all its business software and every stage of the supply chain, from the designer to the user via the manufacturer and distributor. The new marketplace addition will expand this collaborative platform even further, disrupting conventional manufacturing schemes and giving designers and businesses more choice and control over their products.

The private beta version of the marketplace was rolled out three weeks ago, with the public beta expected sometime towards the end of this year. No final release date has been set yet, but when Dassault Systèmes e-commerce platform eventually comes out and gains some traction, we can expect major changes in the way 3D printing technology is used throughout the world of manufacturing.



Posted in 3D Software



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Bart wrote at 2/22/2018 11:23:01 AM:

When and where has Dassault mentioned that all of its products will become free? I don't see a link to the source

Corey wrote at 9/5/2017 2:21:19 PM:

Very exciting for the Hobbyists. Source? Timeline?

Red wrote at 9/1/2017 10:04:49 PM:

Sounds too good to be true.

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