Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 41
PLURAL ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
manufacturers to buy materials at
market price and they will understand
how to print with them, get support
and how it greatly helps the cost-perpart model, which will justify additive
manufacturing," Israel says.
Technical Evangelist and product
expert Doug Dingus explains that
manufacturers tend to be conservative because they are focused on
repeatability and getting it right the
first time, but once they understand
additive manufacturing and where it
makes sense for their business they
"They are also competitive, so when
something new starts to get traction
they don't want to be the manufacturer that missed the next big thing,"
Plural has performed case studies
with prospects over the last year-anda-half and learned cost per part savings of 50 percent could be achieved.
"That's enormous," Israel says.
"Three very important things to manufacturers are cost-per-part, quality
Plural assists its customers in deter-
mining their costs over a multi-year
period by factoring in all the variables
that come with building a part. "How
many hours a day it will run, days per
week, materials, how many parts are
printing, maintenance and consumable costs are all rolled into the calculator," Israel explains. "When we plug
in the information they usually see 50
percent less cost-per-part and we also
show them when they will earn their
One way Plural has disrupted the
industry is by using a combination
of open and Plural, 3NTR certified
materials. High-end 3-D manufacturers' materials are often OEM captive,
which Israel explains means they are
the only materials for use in their
printer. The material is often expensive and unlikely to be used to produce parts in volume. Secondly, there
are few material choices compared
to rapidly growing diversity found in
"Open, certified materials allows
plural says additive
companies benefits like inventory
and spare parts on demand.
goes into it to cost-effectively deliver
small- to mid-size volumes of plastic parts. "When looked at as a lean
process, the full potential of additive
manufacturing can be reached," Israel says. "Additive manufacturing produces end-use parts that are repeatable and dimensionally accurate at a
cost and lead-time that makes sense.
"Where 3-D printing is typically
about making one of a part or part
concepts, additive manufacturing is
all about multiples and end-use," he
continues. "It is also a whole new way
to think about your business. Think
inventory on-demand, spare parts
on-demand, faster to market, a more
easily managed supply chain and a
new way to approach your customer."
Plural explains that it is about
changing the industry one customer
at a time by educating and learning
about their business. Customers need
to ask themselves:
* What do we want to do with an industrial 3-D printer?
* How are we doing that today?
* What could we be doing that we
* What materials are important?
* How will this technology impact
* Who should we trust to help us?
Plural provides its customers with a
platform that includes printers and
materials that makes sense for their
business and incorporates it into their
"Additive manufacturing does not
replace existing manufacturing,"
Dingus says. "Existing machinery and
technology never really goes away
- each one has its own sweet spot.
Over time as new technology hits the
marketplace, older ones settle into
their high-performing niche. Manufacturers have to look at this process
as getting additional capacity and/or
capability while quality goes up and
cost-per-part goes down." mt
MAY/JUNE 2017 manufacturing-today.com