"The ease of being able to upload a part," says Josh Haldeman, an industrial designer for protective gear company Bullard, "and instantly know what it's going to cost me is phenomenal." Haldeman is referring to the instant online quoting process for Xometry, a company that connects manufacturers and fabricators with designers and producers who need things made.
Xometry has built up a network that, earlier this year, consisted of roughly 800 manufacturers across the U.S., and the company connects them via its portal to about 8,000 customers. The idea is that "a local machine shop in Pennsylvania can reach major companies like NASA, General Electric, and BMW," the company explains. The numbers are about to get bigger: Last week Xometry announced they've acquired MakeTime, another on-demand manufacturing company, and once integrated the total number of manufacturers jumps to 2,300, while the potential customers number about 10,000.
This is good news for industrial designers seeking manufacturing facilities with transparent pricing. If you want to dive in and check out their Instant Quoting Engine, here's the link.