FSL3D, manufacturer of the popular Pegasus Touch laser 3D printer, the upcoming Phoenix Touch 3D printers, as well as subtractive laser material processing solutions, has launched a new service bureau for prototyping and low-volume production.
The new department, which combines FSL3D's own additive and substractive solutions, is modeled on the scalable digital manufacturing (SDM) concept the company is deploying for business customers, and should serve as proof of concept for future customers who are interested in creating their own innovation labs.
Indeed, management intends for the service bureau to be part of a flagship SDM center that will not only make parts for customers, but educate and train them on how to build and operate the same kind of multi-printer, multi-material lab or production facility in their own organizations.
“The keys to the growth of both consumer and industrial 3D printing are increasing capability and decreasing cost," says Henry Liu, PhD, founder and chief executive officer of FSL3D. "We see a huge opportunity with our technology to provide systems with industrial-level output, but at a price tag affordable for small and medium-sized businesses."
By installing an array of FSL3D's printers and laser cutters, for example, a company "can get incredible throughput in multiple materials, all for less than the cost of a single printer from Stratasys or 3D Systems," according to John Calhoun, executive vice president of sales and marketing at FSL3D. "SDM is our vision for the future of manufacturing, and we're getting a lot of interest in the concept because the typical installation produces the same or better quality than a $50,000 machine while achieving 23x the throughput."
Scalability is key, suggests Liu. "Once customers have realized the value of our SDM solution, they may want to create their own facility starting with one, two or several machines, and then scale as needed with the growth of their operation," he explains. "The networked nature of the software makes it easy to scale and also allows a single person to manage a very capable lab with multiple pieces of equipment," he adds.
FSL3D's service bureau currently is offering eight material choices on the Pegasus Touch and Phoenix Touch 3D printers, including the company's new low-shrink, red oxide resin and W9000 industrial ABS-like resin. Laser Cutting materials include various grades of steel, plastics and woods.
A part printed in flexible resin on an FSL3D printer
FSL3D arrived on the 3D printing scene in January of 2014 with a Kickstarter campaign for its Pegasus Touch 3D printer. As a subsidiary of Full Spectrum Laser, company execs had no trouble convincing backers of their expertise and were rewarded with $819,535 in funding, over eight times the campaign's goal. Some 10 months later, Full Spectrum Laser raised $10 million in growth equity investment from Summer Street Capital.