In more ways than one, Xometry Inc. is using the internet to grow the manufacturing industry.
The marketplace for on-demand manufacturing, which launched in 2014, has more than doubled the number of companies recently that use its portal to buy and sell such services as 3D printing, sheet metal fabrication and other forms of custom manufacturing. Within the past year, the Xometry Manufacturing Partner network has grown to more than 2,400 participating manufacturers that provide on-demand services to a base of more than 10,000 customers, up from fewer than 5,000.
Xometry’s customers range from startups to major corporations and large government agencies, including carmaker BMW, diversified manufacturer General Electric Co., the United States Army and NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. BMW and GE are also investors in Xometry.
The manufacturers providing services through Xometry’s partner network are mostly small to mid-sized companies, some of whom have earned at least $1 million in revenue through the marketplace, Xometry says. PT&R Inc., San Jose, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Zero Hour Parts have each earned $1 million in revenue through the marketplace, Xometry and executives at those companies say.
“There are small machines shops everywhere, but nobody knows they’re there,” says Randy Altschuler, co-founder and CEO of Xometry. Xometry was founded, he adds, on the idea that it could use the “power of the internet” to help small, as well as mid-size, machine shops grow through a portal that connects buyers and sellers of manufacturing.
It works like this: A customer will upload a 3D computer-aided design model of a product it needs manufactured into Xometry’s online quoting engine, choosing several criteria including the manufacturing process, the material such as aluminum or polycarbonate, and the type of metal finish or other special treatments. Within minutes, Xometry uses its own data on the manufacturing costs to quote a price. Its quoting engine is based on Hoops Communicator and Hoops Exchange software from Tech Soft 3D.
Xometry then forwards the customer’s order to a manufacturer in its network that its software platform recognizes as most suitable and available; the manufacturer then decides whether to accept the order.
The system is designed to maximize use of available capacity, helping manufacturers to avoid downtime while also offering buyers a quick response, Xometry says. Xometry also uses CloudSuite Industrial software from Infor to help companies share information and interact on its marketplace.
“Xometry has given us the opportunity to fill gaps in our schedule with jobs that we choose to take on,” Brandon Hoag, general manager of Zero Hour Parts, says in a press release issued by Xometry. “We are looking forward to the next million.”
Xometry’s growth surged this summer with its acquisition of on-demand manufacturing company MakeTime, which more than doubled its number of network manufacturers from 1,100 to more than 2,300.
It has also been expanding services to those manufacturers. At the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago last week, Xometry launched its Shop Advantage Program, which enables manufacturers on its network to purchase computer hardware, machine tools, materials and business services. Suppliers available through the program include computer and I.T. products company Dell Inc., machine tooling company Sandvik Coromat, supply chain services firm Transport Impact, metals and plastics supplier OnlineMetals and financial services firm Manufacturers Capital. At IMTS, Xometry was one of more than 2,500 exhibitors of manufacturing technology and services, including companies like 3D Systems and Proto Labs Inc. that were promoting their on-demand manufacturing services.
Xometry has raised $63 million in funding, including $25 million in its most recent funding round announced in July. The latest round came from a group of investment firms comprised of Foundry Group, Almaz Capital, BMW I Ventures and GE Ventures.
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