How to Optimize a Quote for Stratasys Direct Manufacturing EngineersProject Engineers are trained in all the custom solutions Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has to offer, as well as kept up-to-date on the latest rapid prototyping, 3D printing and general manufacturing materials and options. I have organized a list of helpful information you can keep in mind during your design process. These tips are a general rule of thumb and do not apply in all situations; however, they are tips proven to foster good communication between our customers and Project Engineers.
What you need to know:
For the best quoting experience, keep these material and design rules in mind.
- File Type: In order to get an accurate quote we need 3D data. We typically deal with .STL, .IGS or .STP but can accept most types of files. We have a license to most of the major CAD design products including Solidworks, ProE and Catia so we can accept native data.
- Product Differences: It’s important to know that certain manufacturing technologies are better suited for certain applications. Each technology has benefits and limitations. If you are interested in form and fit testing or require a show model, you may consider PolyJet or SL. If you are looking for something that builds quickly and is functional, then you might consider LS and FDM. If you require higher quantities (25-50), then cast urethane is often the best option. Anything above 150 pieces is typically best suited for our tooling and injection molding.
- Minimum Feature Size: Additive manufacturing is limited by the accuracy of the laser, print head or nozzle used to lay out each layer of material. Features below 0.020” will not build with most of our processes, however each technology differs.
Our cast urethane process is dependent on material thickness due to the fact that walls thinner than 0.080” will cause a problem with the silicone tooling.
- How Long will My Quote Take: A quote can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days depending on complexity and process selected. Any additive manufacturing process (SL, LS, FDM) can be quoted relatively quickly. More complex processes like CNC, Cast Urethane, and DMLS require roughly 4-24 hours. Instant online quotes are available for simple additive manufacturing jobs.
- Lead Times: Most additive manufacturing processes take about 2-5 days for raw parts and 1-4 additional days for finishing depending on complexity. Our CNC process can vary in time based on work load and complexity but is typically around 3-9 business days. The Cast Urethane process takes about 8-13 business days for first articles off of the silicone tool, though simpler parts can be completed in as fast as 5 days.
- Tolerances: Tolerances are always listed on the quote and it’s important to look them over and insure that you have built enough clearance in your design for the process selected.
- Ball park pricing: Since everything Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offers is custom, it’s very difficult to give ball part pricing without 3D data and the full scope of your project.
What we need to know:
- Application: Knowing the application your product is for allows us to help you select process and material. It’s important to share the purpose for the part and what your intentions are. If you have a preferred process you’d like Stratasys Direct Manufacturing to quote, please let us know what it is and why you’d like to use it. We are ITAR compliant and offer Non Disclosure Agreements; let your Project Engineer know or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the NDA process.
- Requirements: Any critical requirements of your project should be presented at the time of the quote request. This includes engineering drawings, inserts and taps, inspection requirements, heat requirements, strength requirements, etc.
We are always happy to answer any questions you have and look forward to working with you to bring your project from idea to prototype to production.