A recent all-Maryland deal offers one sign of how the parts of a tech community can work together.
When seeking to source a part for its new 3D printer, Fulton-based M3D could’ve had a number of options around the world, said COO JJ Biel-Goebel.
But ultimately the company went with another firm that’s about 20 miles to the west.
Biel-Goebel said M3D recently signed a contract to produce the frame for its printer, called the Promega, with Xometry. Based in Gaithersburg, Xometry specializes in manufacturing services including 3D printing. It raised $15 million in new funding from venture arms of BMW and GE, Technical.ly DC reported. The deal indicates that can involve parts for the tools themselves.
After scouting out supply chains M3D wanted to go with a U.S. source, and was down to a few options.
“As we get into larger parts in the 2 ft. or more category, we have to take a real hard look at the shipping cost and how they compete against the cost of goods in the supply chain,” Biel-Goebel said.
Ultimately, “Xometry was able to get us the right price and the right timeframe,” Biel-Goebel said.
The Promega is designed as a larger, industrial-sized printer that will be of interest to businesses as well as the “prosumer” who likes to have the professional-grade gear. M3D got funded through preorders from a crowdfunding campaign on a platform created by its founders, is slated to go into production in March and begin shipping in the second quarter. The initial run will be 1,000 printers, Biel-Goebel said.
“The success of the campaign for level of printer that we were building has been better than we expected,” he said. “We’re planning for a second run for 2018 because of the success the presales had.”
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