3-D Printing, Soligen and Other Companies

Topics: Rapid prototyping, SWOT analysis, 3D printing Pages: 18 (5704 words) Published: March 16, 2013
Question 1: Select 2-3 companies profiled in the case and discuss the formulation of their respective strategies for commercializing the TDP Technology

The three companies we would further discuss are the Soligen, Specific Surface Corporation (SSC) and Z Corp.

Soligen Technology Inc. was founded by Yehoramo Uziel, it was incorporated in Delaware in October 1991, and commenced operations in April 1992. Soligen is a metal casting industry which produces fully functional 3-Dimensional cast metal components. Typically the lengths of time to make castings are approximately 6-12month. However with Soligen’s unique technology known as DSPC (Direct Shell Production Casting) the length of production is reduced to weeks or even days. One of the main advantages that Soligen has was the founder Uziel had vast knowledge about metal casting before working with the 3DP process. He was the vice president of engineering at 3D system, a rapid prototyping firm. While he was at 3D systems, Uziel developed rapid prototyping machines based on streolithography for Ford Motors, General Motors and Chrysler Uziel knew that the need for making non-functional prototype parts would soon perish and be replaced by physical visualization. Uziel also knew that automobile industries face problems in producing metal parts through investment casting, as this was not suitable for mass production. When Uziel came to know about the 3DP process it enlightened him as he realised all his problems can be solved. It became clear that the 3DP process was the only technology which can eliminate pattern making and can only allow for ceramic casting models directly from a CAD file. Uziel saw some gateway as metal casting was one of the industries in which no one tried to revolutionise. Uziel went to MIT to license the 3DP process and acquired the license for the 3DP process only for metal casting as he wanted to create casting moulds with integral cores directly from the CAD file. He also wanted to reduce the lead time faced by many rapid prototyping firms, and the only solution was the 3DP process. Soligen was able to develop all the hardware and software for their own Direct Shell Production Casting and they were then able to develop cast metal parts with a much shorter lead time and lower investment costs than the existing technologies. Another strategy that Soligen used to commercialize the 3DP process was their development method. Soligen 1st three years of operation focused only on the development of DSPC technology to ensure the company’s success and accuracy. Soligen used this method of development to ensure they earn high profits while they can still grow and dominate markets. They were able to reduce times on jobs hence this helped them in acquiring more customers and a name for themselves.

Specific Surface Corporation (SSC):

This company was founded by Mark Parrish and co-founded by Andrew Jeffery. Specific Surface Corporation (SSC) specialised in manufacturing ceramic filters for the power generation market directly from computer drawings. They modified the Soligen Machine for focusing on the creation of molds and prototypes for making their filters. They also modified the machine MIT to be compatible with chemical binder systems to make the ceramic filters. The main reason which allowed Specific Surface Corporation in acquiring the license of the 3DP process for the manufacturing of ceramic filters was that both founders, Mark Parrish and Andrew Jeffery were experts on ceramics. Mark Parrish held a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from SUNNY College of ceramics at Alfred University and he also had his SM and Ph.D in Ceramics from MIT. Andrew Jeffery was no stranger to ceramics as well, he is a Chemical Engineer and was working with flexible fabric filters. These two men explored their knowledge and came up with the decision that they wanted to use the technology in creating something new which was the ceramic filters. Their goal was to...
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