The company’s extensive background in 3D printing stems from management’s experience in selling competitive 3D printers from 2004 until the establishment of dddrop in 2012. That experience demonstrated the pros and cons of existing 3D printers and set dddrop on the path to making better performing, more-effective 3D printers, according to CEO Alfred Uytdewilligen. “The team used different machines for many years but could never find the perfect balance between quality and price,” Uytdewilligen explains. “We wanted an industrial 3D printer that is built for professional use, but is also affordable.”
However, just as development of the modular, customizable, automated RAPID ONE 3D printer was ramping up, the COVID19 pandemic struck, creating work and development challenges for the company. “When COVID hit in early 2020, we were already considering the addition of cloud-based solutions to the SOLIDWORKS® product development ecosystem that we had in place, because under our company structure, the development team is not all based in one location,” Uytdewilligen recounts. “The COVID pandemic made this move even more urgent, so we quickly added cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE® Works solutions to our SOLIDWORKS implementation to continue our development progress without incurring any delays.”
The dddrop design team heavily leveraged the 3DEXPERIENCE Works Change/Configuration Management solution to efficiently manufacture the modular design of the Rapid One, which allows customers to order printers with build areas in increments of 15 cm and prepares specific configurations for production. “We used SOLIDWORKS configuration tools to create the modular design for the printer, but we really needed the 3DEXPERIENCE Works Change/Configuration Manager to more efficiently connect different design configurations to production,” Uytdewilligen continues. “We’ve found the 3DEXPERIENCE Works Change/Configuration Manager to be a simpler, more streamlined approach to handling design configurations in production.”
“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform represents an entirely new way of working that has allowed us to reshape the company to support greater collaboration, innovation, and productivity,” Uytdewilligen says. “It’s much more than a development platform. It’s a product launching platform in which not everybody is using a SOLIDWORKS seat. Instead, each person has access to the tools and portions of the process that affect them. In essence, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform stretches out the SOLIDWORKS portfolio for use in collaborative spaces in the cloud.