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Vaupell uses 3D Systems’ QuickCast™ stereolithography (SLA) printing process to produce investment casting molds for aerospace manufacturers that require low-volume, high-complexity parts.

3D Systems Brings Printer Manufacturing in House

Sept. 18, 2023
“Insourcing” production of systems for printing polymers and metals is a step to optimize inventories, improve production quality, and speed up deliveries.

Additive manufacturing group 3D Systems reported it has “insourced” production of two 3D printer platforms to its plants in Rock Hill, S.C., and Riom, France, a move it explained will enhance its quality control, reduce manufacturing cycle times, and accelerate new product introduction. The two printer lines, for polymer material and metal parts, had been sourced through two unnamed electronics manufacturers.

Company president and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Graves explained that the move continues a strategy begun in 2022, when it consolidated several polymer 3D-printing product groups at the Rock Hill operation. Graves credited that step with improving production cost and product quality, and helping 3D Systems to speed its introduction of new products.

South Carolina-based 3D Systems develops and manufactures production processes for additive manufacturing, as well as programming and simulation software, and it develops and supplies raw materials for those operations, including wax used to produce investment casting patterns.

The recent insourcing began in August, and as of September 14 both product lines are available from 3D Systems for placement at customers’ locations.  

“Our customers want reliable, high-quality products that meet their evolving needs for use in factory production environments,” stated exec. vice president for engineering and operations, Dr. Joe Zuiker. “In-house manufacturing not only enables us to streamline production and reduce lead times, but it also allows us to offer competitive pricing through more efficient operations. This means our customers can receive greater value from our production printers, faster than ever before.”

The company did not name the printer series affected by the decision and no costs associated to the recent insourcing step have been announced, but according to Graves: “Since undertaking this initiative last year, lead times have shortened each quarter, and we believe that this activity, in conjunction with other actions puts us on the path to reduce overall inventory by over 20% in 2024.

“The decision to insource is helping us to better utilize our assets and internal resources, not only driving operational improvements but also cost reductions that align with our financial commitments to shareholders,” the president/CEO added.