As shared in the last post, with the main basic documents to submit, i.e. 3D models in universal CAD formats, 2D drawings or marked dimensions in 3D, Material requirements, as well as post processing requirements such as colour and surface finishing; what else is required for your AM manufacturer/vendor to speed up the RFQ and (even production) process?
We’re back with more useful tips here:
The end use application: Good suppliers can help you optimise the design or point you to more apt materials, tests and specifications.
A standard or specification in mind: You might need to supply this for your supplier’s perusal. Try to specify an internationally recognised specification that matches your own companies internal one or country specific one.
A budget may also be great to mention as your supplier can help let you know straight away if the technology or specification can be met at your price point. However, on the flip side this might also encourage the supplier to increase their margins to fill up your budget completely.
A Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement valid or enforceable in a region you are comfortable with or a country your business is registered with in a legally recognised language does go a long way to protect your IP. International Arbitration Courts are also a great alternative if the country’s legal system poses challenges.
Sub-contracting and outsourcing limitations: Make sure you understand your suppliers’ capabilities and restrictions it is possible that some part of the job may be sub contracted or outsourced. This isn’t a bad thing as specialised companies that focus on making those parts can be brought in to manufacture it cheaper, faster and at a better price point. However, take care to ensure that the sub-contracted company are bound under the same clauses of your NDA with the main supplier or that the main supplier goes over and above to ensure confidentiality when sending parts out. Sometimes it would be prudent to enforce a non-subtracting clause especially if you are working on critical projects that require a high degree of trust and secrecy.
Of course, a strong rapport and sincere, ongoing communications to iron out any doubts at the onset is key to making this work. At 3D Metalforge, we are dedicated to helping our customers go through all the necessary details above to provide a transparent and open RFQ approach so that it’s a win-win situation for all involved. Afterall, your satisfaction is our success!