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SmartQuote—Digital Supply Chain

Since 2014, SmartQuote has been FATHOM’s online digital manufacturing portal for quick and easy access to prototyping and low-volume production services. Recent updates further extend the user experience to include more of FATHOM’s additive technologies and foundational methods, as well as increased user functionality.

  • Place orders for urethane casting and CNC machining
  • Choose from PolyJet, FDM, SLS, and SLA with standard material selections—now including multi-material options
  • FATHOM offers 50+ additive materials
  • Order non-standard materials directly online (ULTEM 1010, Tango+, etc.)
  • Request expedited services for any process or material
  • Live chat directly with a FATHOM expert
  • Get quantity discounts on direct digital manufacturing orders

In this featured Q&A , learn more from FATHOM’s SmartQuote Specialist, Ben Bradley.

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What’s the focus for the SmartQuote platform and its users?

More than four years ago, we created SmartQuote to make prototyping and production part procurement as quick and easy as possible. Our team set out to offer many technology and material options, as well as useful features like expedite requests and customized pricing structures—dynamic functionalities that meet the needs of designers, engineers, product managers, and supply chain professionals. We are constantly adding to SmartQuote, integrating new options and features based on user feedback.

“The [SmartQuote] platform is flexible enough to serve everyone from independent industrial designers to corporate sourcing managers in an efficient way.”

Ben-Bradley-SmartQuote-2015I’m happy to say that what we’ve done with these past few rounds of updates has expanded the capabilities of SmartQuote well beyond any one type of customer the platform is flexible enough to serve everyone from independent industrial designers to corporate sourcing managers in an efficient way.

What separates SmartQuote from the online quoting and ordering tools of other providers?

First off, SmartQuote can be leveraged throughout all stages of product development. Like a lot of companies, many of our early projects focused on single parts, prototypes, and smaller orders, but SmartQuote is also set-up as a digital supply chain management tool and many users have been quick to adopt that.

Two other key reasons come to mind—our focus on flexibility and personal engagement in every order. The system complements many different roles and varying needs within companies of all sizes and industry type. We’ve also intentionally incorporated a human involvement throughout the quoting and order process. For example, you can chat with an actual person while getting a quote through the website. Each and every part file is reviewed by a 3D printing technician before going on a build tray. We push for the best possible result on every project, and the customer service team will reach out right away if they have any concerns.

We’re committed to the collaborative approach and we’ll put in the human effort to make sure our experience is above and beyond what a purely automated system can deliver.

Who is getting the most out of SmartQuote?

I won’t talk about customer projects in honor of our confidentiality agreements, but I will say that what SmartQuote ‘power users’ do is quote early and quote often.

The traditional mindset is to completely finish CAD files before getting quotes because changing tiny details can cause huge cost increases in setup-intensive processes like injection molding. Quote as many times as you need, especially with additive manufacturing because the general shape and volume of a part file is enough to get a fairly accurate estimate for prototyping or production quantities. Detail work and refinements that take a lot of design time can happen in parallel with planning around costing. Designing for additive technologies takes you another step further towards fully realizing the benefits of direct digital manufacturing. Just as you prototype the design, do so with the pricing. Get an idea of pricing early on and leverage SmartQuote assistance if you have questions about technologies or materials.

What are other benefits of joining the SmartQuote community?

We try to actively foster engagement in the SmartQuote community by consistently keeping our user base updated on what is going on in-house, and what is going on in the world of 3D printing. Each week, we publish a blog series called Change Is Additive, which highlights the most pertinent industry news of the past week, and is sent out through our SmartQuote Weekly email newsletter. The newsletter contains design tips, glances at companies working with FATHOM, news about growing in-house capabilities, and other useful snippets. We’ve found that many of our customers are just as interested in the 3D printing space as we are, and we love to share that enthusiasm.

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To learn more about SmartQuote’s capabilities, check out our FAQ page. Files compatible with SmartQuote //STL, 3DM, 3DS, MODEL, EXP, DLV, DLV3, CATPART, IGES, IGS, SLD, SLDPRT, STEP, STP, X_T, PRT, PLY, ZCP, VDA, WRL, VRML, SKP, SAT, JT, DXF, FBX, DAE, ZPR and OBJ files (up to 20 MBs). Not a SmartQuote user? Sign up today!

 

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