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Bridge manufacturing, or bridge-to-production low volume manufacturing, takes 3D printing and additive manufacturing to the next level by giving businesses an opportunity they would not have otherwise had in the marketplace.

What does bridge manufacturing mean?

It quite literally means a bridge-to-production.  So what does that mean?  One of the top industry leaders in 3D printing and additive manufacturing (and a partner of I3DMFG), Fathom, describes it this way, “By bringing together new technologies and materials with legacy manufacturing methods, companies go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in a way that wasn’t previously possible.”

Think of bridging as a way to dramatically speed up product development for customers that don’t have the volume or finances needed for traditional CNC machining and/or molding.

Bridge manufacturing, also called bridge-to-production low volume manufacturing, is a genius idea because it’s for those businesses (and there are a lot of them out there) who needed to make quick product changes, produce smaller volumes, and/or come to market faster without waiting months for production, shipping, rising costs, and no quick way to make critical changes to the prototype/product.

Bridge manufacturing is not only an important leap in the industry but it may actually assist businesses to bring a prototype to market who would otherwise not have had the resources to do so; and it allows for making quick changes to those prototypes and produce in low volume.

To get a really great idea of how bridge manufacturing radically changes the industry, read this great case study from Fathom on their assistance in building a complex 55-part advanced assembly (in 8 hours) for one of the most funded Kickstarter campaigns that delivered the coolest cooler.

I3DMFG plays a big role in bridge-to-production and has partnered with Fathom to be able to assist with DMLS Metal printing for rapid bridge manufacturing when customers need metal prototypes such as titanium and/or inconel.

Bridge manufacturing shows no signs of slowing down since it breaks down barriers that businesses have been battling with for years.  It allows for a paradigm shift in product development, testing, manufacturing, and time-to-market.

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