The US company Markforged has presented Digital Source, a platform for the licensable 3D printing of spare parts. Manufacturers can upload digital data of components to it. Customers, distributors or contract manufacturers can then manufacture the parts on demand on site or at authorized print service providers after purchasing a license.
According to Markforged, the platform is designed to provide a reliable and turnkey production process for 3D-printed spare parts. Digital delivery could reduce inventory costs and logistics efforts. For example, manufacturers can store manufacturing specifications in Digital Source.
Early adopters include sandblasting machine manufacturer BMF and the Automation Alley network, which already uses more than 300 Markforged printers for distributed manufacturing. For both, Digital Source says it enables more flexible and faster spare parts production when needed and reduces inventory.
Markforged sees the approach as having the potential to simplify supply chains and make them more productive and profitable. In the long term, the platform is expected to become a kind of digital central warehouse for printable spare parts data.