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ZF implements 3D Spark platform to democratize AM

The platform provides a cohesive and integrated approach to the entire part order workflow from request to quote

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ZF, a supplier of systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and industrial technology, has adopted the 3D Spark platform, an innovative B2B manufacturing and procurement software, to simplify and democratize the process of fabricating parts using 3D printing technology.

The 3D Spark platform provides a cohesive and integrated approach to the entire part order workflow from request to quote. This enables users to gain instant insights into CAD design suitability, manufacturability, optimization possibilities, precise cost breakdown, and CO2 footprint for every in-house production option. This includes all industrially relevant AM technologies covering polymer, metal, and ceramics, as well as milling, turning, metal casting, and injection molding.

The implementation of the 3D Spark platform has yielded remarkable benefits for ZF, including a 50% reduction in time required for analyzing part manufacturability and quoting, whilst increasing accuracy and trustworthiness by 25% – enhancing ZF’s ability to deliver superior quality parts to its customers reliably.

ZF implements 3D Spark platform to democratize AM - providing a cohesive and integrated approach to the entire part order workflow.

“Requesting a part via 3D Spark is intuitive and efficient. What’s more, this self-service is designed for everyone, not just experts in additive manufacturing technologies, making these cutting-edge tools accessible to all ZF employees,” said Dr. Ignacio Lobo-Casanova, Head of SMART Lightweight Process Technologies at ZF.

“We need to give the power to the people to understand cost and manufacturability of their parts without consulting experts and wasting their time, and this is what 3D Spark is helping us to do,” said Marcel Ahlbrand, Head of Advanced Development Chassis Components at ZF.

The partnership between ZF and 3D Spark highlights the strategic alignment between corporate giants and agile startups in digital manufacturing. As ZF acknowledges the need for disruptive innovation to maintain industry leadership, collaborations with startups like 3D Spark offer innovative pathways to stay ahead of the curve.

Last year, 3D Spark closed a €1.2M funding round led by Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF) and Discovery CFO UG.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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