Re: Service Bureau Start-Up

Date: Tue Apr 29 1997 - 17:59:39 EEST

In a message dated 97-04-29 00:43:10 EDT, you write:

<< Subj: Service Bureau Start-Up
 Date: 97-04-29 00:43:10 EDT
 From: (Phil Russell)
 I am currently investigating opening a small 1-machine service bureau
 with a SLA-250. As you can imagine, I have many questions. Has anyone
 had any experience with the "Smart-Start" package currently offered by
 3D Systems? The more I learn, it seems to be a very minimal package,
 functionally. Does anyone have opinions of the feasiblity of a modeling
 only operation, in the beginning? My plan includes the possibility of
 later expanding into CAD services, Stress analysis (my profession), and
 possibly small-scale plastics injection molding. I am currently trying
 to find any information on cost analysis, marketing, other people's
 perspectives on the service bureau business, etc. Is the service
 contract that 3D offers worth the price? Does anyone have any
 quantitative laser lifetime data, based upon power rating? I could go on
 forever. Thanks, in advance, for all the help.
                                         Phil Russell

I dunno Phil.

According to industry pundits prices charged by service bureaus have sagged
15 -> 20% in the last year, and there is definite consolidation of SB's and
much vertical integration going on. I have a strong suspicion that maybe
it's not the best time to go into the business at the low end.

You might want to look into the RPML archives to get some scuttlebut, and
Terry Wohlers '97 State of the Industry report before even thinking about the
technical details.

Best regards,

Ed Grenda
AutoFab Systems
19 Pondview Road
Arlington, MA 02174 USA
617-646-6280 (voice or fax) (email)

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