What happens when a 3D printer maker brings together a bunch of customers that are also fierce rivals to talk best practices for additive manufacturing?
Stratasys is about to find out.
The 3D printer marker is bringing together its high-performance partners. High-performance partners are mostly auto racing and boat racing organizations with a few aerospace customers such as Boom Supersonic.
"We've been working on this program for more than a year to build a list of who's who to share knowledge," said Stratasys' Pat Carey, senior vice president of strategic growth in the Americas.
High-performance environments give Stratasys a lot of lessons learned for manufacturing parts and tools on the fly. These partners are continually tweaking designs to gain that extra millisecond that may mean a victory.
The roster of Stratasys high-performance partners meeting at Speedway, Indiana include:
Stratasys has been cultivating these partnerships and customers to "focus on tooling and what we can learn," said Carey. "These are real parts that influence industries." For instance, out of 33 cars in the Indy 500, 12 cars had Stratasys parts on them.
Under the program, Stratasys loans these partners equipment and gives them materials at a discount. Specifically, these high-performance partners use Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) as well as FDM ULTEM 9085 for parts with low production variance and performance. Other materials and tooling gear are used to produce hollow parts.
Stratasys also provides product managers and tech support. In return, Stratasys garners knowledge to improve future processes.
The group meets Tuesday and Carey said the partners will share what they can without giving away competitive advantage.