Japan (日本語)
Japan (日本語)
American Additive Manufacturing Employee
Case Study

American Additive Manufacturing’s Formula for Success

2月 22, 2024

Customer dedication and enabling technology fuel this service provider’s growth.

“Excellence in all we do.” That is the credo that American Additive Manufacturing is determined to live by. It may be a difficult mission statement to achieve, but as a keenly customer-focused 3D printing service provider, it is a mission that gets lived daily. American Additive Manufacturing has the expertise, customer reputation, and performance to prove they are accomplishing it.

Maximizing Customer Value in Competitive Industries

American Additive Manufacturing, located north of Philadelphia, supports companies in the aerospace, automotive, and defense industries that need fast prototype iterations and short-run production. Its mission: deliver maximum value to customers through 3D printing innovation, enabling competitive advantages while advancing the implementation of additive manufacturing.

“We specialize in highly engineered applications for regulated industries where certification and precise tolerances are critical,” says Matt White, director of engineering. “Our customers are under intense pressure to accelerate development cycles and compress lead times while maintaining exceptionally high standards. We give them best-in-class additive manufacturing to stay competitive.”

The Right Resources Form the Foundation

Achieving that goal requires investment in equipment and software and the expertise to maximize what they offer. For starters, American Additive uses a 3D laser scanner, which helps with metrology efforts. The geometries on some of the parts Matt and his team work with can be difficult, if not impossible, to measure accurately by hand. The 3D scanner helps them identify and validate that the parts exhibit correct dimensions and are in tolerance to ensure accurate 3D print results. In the 3D printer department, American Additive has added capacity and capability to meet and even reduce job lead times while shortening customer turnaround times.

In a measure to maintain its uptime for customers, American Additive took steps to address power disruptions, which are hard to predict but inevitably occur. An interruption in a 3D printer’s power can abort the print job, something a client-focused service provider like American Additive wants to avoid. “We’ve invested in redundant power supplies like generators and UPSs (uninterruptible power supply),” says Matt. “In the northeast, we do see storms and hurricanes, and whenever power does go out, we’re able to have backup power. If we do lose a print, we have this additional capacity as well, so we can reprint on one of the other machines that we have.”

Living its Customer-Centric Mission

With its industrial 3D printers, American Additive employs high-performance thermoplastics like ULTEM™ 9085 resin to make complex ductwork, housings, and components too difficult to machine or injection mold. By scaling to meet growing demand, American Additive becomes an extension of its customers’ engineering teams. “We consult on optimal designs for 3D printing, ensure quality, and handle logistics so our customers can focus purely on innovation,” says Matt. “It’s about being an accelerator - helping them develop better products faster.”

Helping their customers this way involves working closely with them on a project’s design-for-additive manufacturing, or DFAM, aspects. DFAM helps optimize 3D printed parts using best practices that leverage the advantages of the 3D printer, the materials, and software. “That’s exactly where we focus,” says Matt. “ULTEM™ is a little trickier to print, so there’s a little bit more of DFAM, especially with ULTEM™, which doesn’t have soluble support,” he adds. Complex designs may have internal spaces that make removing the support material from an ULTEM™ part difficult or impossible. “We really work with our customers to make sure that the orientation will suffice for internal cavities or we change the geometry,” says Matt.

 

Additive American Manufacturing Employee with Printer

To put an exclamation point on American Additive’s customer-driven business philosophy, the team shared a rapid-response experience involving a prominent aerospace company. Matt picks up the story, “They gave us a purchase order Friday, we printed it over the weekend and shipped the parts on Monday.” The news about this fast turnaround spread within the customer’s organization and, according to Matt, “is hugely valuable for retaining a customer.”

They gave us a purchase order Friday, we printed it over the weekend and shipped the parts on Monday.” The news about this fast turnaround spread within the customer’s organization and, according to Matt, “is hugely valuable for retaining a customer.

Help From Technology Partners

In its relatively short tenure, American Additive has proven it has the expertise and the performance to help customers meet their goals with additive manufacturing. But it’s a team effort. Helping support American Additive is CADimensions, a local 3D printing technology provider. CADimension is a Stratasys reseller and helps American Additive maintain its capabilities with Stratasys printers and software. 

“CADimensions has been extremely receptive and responsive to all of our questions, and I know we have a lot of questions,” Matt says. “They’re quick to respond, and if they don’t know, they know who to point us to, who has the answer.” Matt continues, “They make sure we can always deliver for customers, and that loyalty is invaluable as we continue advancing additive in aerospace and beyond.”

Leveraging the Power of Software

One piece of technology that’s been very useful for American Additive is Stratasys GrabCAD Print Pro™, an add-on to GrabCAD Print™ software. A critical step impacting all service providers like American Additive is accurately quoting a project’s price. In many cases, this value is an approximation based on the overall volume of parts in the project. But this estimate doesn’t give the complete picture or the most accurate price, which may not be precise enough to secure the job. That’s where GrabCAD Print Pro comes into play, providing Matt’s team with more detailed pricing tools.

“The per-part estimation tools in GrabCAD Print Pro have become essential for us to provide detailed and precise quotes to customers,” explains application engineer Ellis Waldman. “Rather than approximating based on percentages of volumes, we can now give itemized costing for every single part in an order. This granularity shows the customer we’ve done our homework and instills confidence they’re getting the best value.”

Accurate quoting down to the part level has helped American Additive win more business in hyper-competitive industries. “With GrabCAD Print Pro, we can turn around quotes incredibly fast while still maintaining transparency and accuracy,” Ellis adds. “That speed, paired with part-level pricing, has been a huge advantage for converting leads and retaining customers looking for aggressive value.” By leveraging GrabCAD Print Pro’s estimation tools, American Additive continues to strengthen trust and cement partnerships across regulated sectors.

From Matt’s perspective, GrabCAD Print Pro has helped his team quote and ultimately win those jobs. “Some of these opportunities are very rapidquote. So these efficiency savings have definitely won us jobs directly,” he says.

American Additive also uses GrabCAD Print’s integration and API capabilities to optimize workflow and scale more efficiently. By connecting GrabCAD Print with their website and workflow automation tools, Matt’s team has automated repetitive and time-consuming tasks like quoting to speed up customer response times. “GrabCAD Print’s API enables us to focus our engineers on high-value work rather than manual tasks,” says Matt. “Integrations with our other systems have been huge time-savers, aided our growth, and allowed us to deliver an unmatched level of responsiveness.”

This innovation with GrabCAD Print helps American Additive boost productivity and deliver parts faster, setting them apart in industries where speed is critical. Matt sums up the value this way: “We’re a small business – we look to grow. Those little efficiency savings are just huge. Now, we don’t necessarily have to hire a person. Now the person can do two tasks.”

American Additive Manufacturing is a small company doing big things. By pairing its dedicated and talented team with the right 3D printing hardware and software, it can live out its mission of “excellence in all we do.”

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