It’s like a dating service for engineers seeking parts and 3D CAD models.
Dassault Systèmes formally unveiled its new service that matches parts manufacturers and CAD parts models with the engineers and designers looking for those very things. Executives introduced the online 3DExperience Marketplace at SolidWorks World 2018, held in Los Angeles last week.
SolidWorks is a Dassault Systèmes company that produces the SolidWorks CAD system.
The online buying and selling platform, online since January 20 but debuted in early February, already lists around 30 million services and components offered by more than 600 suppliers. More than 50 engineering and manufacturing companies responsible for creating more than 500 machines have signed up to use the site so far, said Bernard Charlès vice chairman and chief executive officer at Dassault Systèmes.
The service helps engineers and manufacturers cut costs and it brings business to service manufacturers around the world, he added.
Charlès compared the platform to Amazon, the consumer buyer-seller, restaurant-delivery, grocery drop off, computer storage, and myriad-other-online-services platform that runs behind the website. Rather than catering to consumers, the business-to-business 3DExperience Marketplace hosts engineers and manufacturer looking to have specific parts made.
“With a few clicks, I can put the part I need into an environment selected of makers all over the world,” Charlès said. “I can choose from a selection of materials and, like Amazon, select a delivery date.”
“Online platforms and marketplaces have already transformed retail, transportation and hospitality services. Get ready—the industrial world is next,” he added.
The Marketplace platform is broken into two separate components: Marketplace Make and Marketplace Parts Supply. Marketplace Make matches engineers with manufacturers who can make heir parts across all manufacturing processes including 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding, sheet metal and others. Marketplace Parts Supply, meanwhile, offers a searchable online 3D components catalog. Buyers can purchase a 3D component and immediately insert the model into their own CAD designs while they wait for real-life versions to arrive for their actual manufactured products.
Suppliers listed on Marketplace Make include Printed Motor Works, Parker, Rapid, and RBC Bearings, to name a few. Most popular component libraries are represented on Parts Supply, Charlès said.
“The 3DExperience Marketplace relies on knowledge and know how to guide buyers and sellers–using 3D as a universal language—through business transactions worldwide. It takes into account taxes and currencies and differing regulations in different countries,” Charlès said.
Engineers can conduct narrowed searches through supplier catalogs for needed parts. The site also uses a 3D semantic search function to find corresponding parts. When a part or component is found and ordered, the system releases the corresponding SolidWorks CAD model.
“Users can compare components and analyze detailed components to decide which ones fit their needs,” Charlès said.
The system compares makers and prices so buyers can choose their parts based on objectives such as nearest location, available material, shipping date, or price, he added. CAD models include a history tree for design traceability, Charlès said.
Dassault Systèmes screens the makers included within the system to ensure reliability and capability.
Those interested in becoming a parts service provider need to formally declare their knowledge, experience, and parts-making history to Dassault Systèmes. Once approved, the providers are listed on the system and their know-how and capabilities promoted across the platform.
Dassault’s in-house software and computational resources make for an efficient collaboration process and allow for the end-to-end transactions that connect business and financial systems behind the scenes, Charlès said.