Solidscape: When 3D Precision Counts

Company Spotlight

Who is Solidscape, Inc. A Stratasys Company?

Solidscape®, Inc. a Stratasys company, pioneered 3D printing technology for the jewelry industry and maintains the largest installed base of jewelry 3D printers in the world. Solidscape’s next generation, fully automated 3D wax printers feature one-touch simplicity delivering uncompromising surface quality, 100% castability and the highest precision in the jewelry industry. Solidscape Studio, Pro and MAX jewelry wax 3D printers offer broad price and performance options for custom retail jewelers and jewelry manufacturers.

How do I determine if a 3D printer is right for my store?

It’s easy. Deliver your brand promise by making sure your customers come first.

Rather than shopping an ever-growing array of 3D printers, start by looking closely at your customers and their needs:

• Are your customers (or desired prospects) requesting highly customized designs?

• Do they expect a fast turnaround and more competitive pricing?

• Are you now losing customers or competing with customizing big box powerhouses or Internet/offshore ‘design centers’?

If you answered YES to any of the above, then 3D printing probably makes sense for you.

Where is your business today?
Continue a customer-centric evaluation of your current business and future goals. If you are spending more time just keeping the business running and not creating designs for your customers, then it is well past time to embrace 3D printing technology.

How will I know which 3D printer is best for my needs?

Avoid common pitfalls.

1) Sidestep the hype. It is NOT about the cheapest or fastest 3D printers out there. It is about a new workflow that makes sense for you—and one that delivers better customer satisfaction. Unless you are doing extremely simple designs in lower value metals then chances are the sub $20,000 3D printers will only be a major disappointment. Remember, when you add a 3D printer, you are essentially expanding your staff and moving to a 24/7-capable business. Balance that initial $20-50k deductible investment with the cost of hiring additional help complete with benefits. Wise decision.

Evaluate your current workflow. If you are only doing 4-12 custom designs a week, or even 3-8 a day, then pure speed is irrelevant—your focus should be on quality outcomes that delight your customers.
Next, concentrate on a smart workflow that embraces day, unattended night and weekend runs. This allows you to quickly grow your business while decreasing the personal stress of working longer days. Based on this workflow process, Solidscape customers typically enjoy a full Return on Investment (ROI) within one year.

2) Consider the entire process for each 3D printer candidate:

a. Do they require upfront design considerations like building in supports?

b. How extensive is the post processing steps? Do you need significant manual intervention like breaking away support structures or smoothing rough surfaces?

c. Castability. Do you have to factor in potential pattern shrinkage or expansion properties based on materials? Can you accurately cast gold & platinum without excessive material loss?

Solidscape technology and wax materials were first developed for the jewelry industry. Their 5th generation build and sacrificial support waxes offer 100% castability with no shrinkage, ash residue or invasive post processing requirements.

3) Do your homework. That good looking tradeshow model is often more for show, not for go. Many tradeshow models are the “chosen few” of many production runs. Did you ever wonder why most manufacturers don’t even run their machines at tradeshows?

Solidscape proudly shows their printers at work.
a. For the size of your investment you should insist on getting a print of your own design file

b. Then have your sample model cast and compare with any competing cast models

c. Ask other jewelers who have already gone digital about their experience—and be sure to ask a top casting house what printers produce the best casting results.

Solidscape always offers to print a customer design file. They encourage customers to independently compare casting results with any competing technology.

What are the Solidscape Key Takeaways?

• Industry best precision, accuracy, smooth surface finish

• 100% castability and burnout, no ash residue or shrinkage

• Enhanced workflow, productivity increases without additional overhead

• Innovative One touch operation does not require technical expertise

The world’s top designers and fashion brands have chosen Solidscape 3D wax printers as their creative tool of choice for nearly 20 years. Take your turn. Visit: www.solid-scape.com to learn more. JBA

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Author:Jewelry Business Advisor

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