July 18, 2018
The acronym RFQ generally means request for quote. But whether you're the one sending out an RFQ for bids on a custom part or you're the one figuring out manufacturability, lead times and costs for making the part, you may have a darker definition: Rabbit Hole. It can be a wonderland warren of waiting for feedback, sending and receiving explanatory drawings, adjusting requirements and, especially for makers, the silence of “not us.” Today's Editor's Pick of the Week changes the motif.
Xometry seems like an interesting outfit you should know about. It's an online, manufacturing-on-demand platform linking you with vetted machine shops with the capabilities to handle your job. Xometry recently acquired MakeTime, expanding its manufacturing partner network to over 2,300 shops nationwide. It even offers an optional add-in so that you can get your quotes inside of SOLIDWORKS.
Xometry recently deployed version 3.0 of its Instant Quoting Engine. The basic idea here is to make the RFQ process fast and painless for design engineers and makers. How?
It starts with three basic selections: materials, fabrication process and constraints. Material options are metal, plastic or both. Fabrication processes include computer numerical control machines, sheet metal, urethane casting and 3D printing. Constraints start with lead time and price. You upload your design, and Xometry's algorithms chew a sec then return design for manufacturing (DFM) feedback as well as details on estimated lead times and pricing.
As you get into it, each fabrication type offers relevant variations, say laser cutting or injection molding, and material options. You can diddle with materials and finishes to your heart's content. Xometry says that you can set up a quote then get your DFM feedback and numbers in just a few clicks. A video linked off today's write-up shows the Instant Quoting Engine in action, and you can click a link on Xometry's site to try it yourself.
Experienced users will be interested to know that Version 3.0 has a redesigned summary view for reviewing quotes and modifying requirements. It also introduces a part-level modification page that captures all changes in real time. Everyone should find its “always-visible” 3D viewer with instant design feedback displayed directly on the model a nice touch.
The skinny: Xometry and its Instant Quoting Engine seem pretty cool. Hit today's link to learn more. Be sure to visit the Xometry website to check out tons of resources and play with the Instant Quoting Engine.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood, Editor at Large, DE
About the Author
Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s Editor-at-Large. Contact him via [email protected].Follow DE