From: Brad Johnson (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 00:22:30 EET
Interesting information provided so, I have a few
questions about this online quoting thing. I
appreciate any feedback to help me better understand.
- How does the software handle the unique costs
associated with various shops?
- Does the quoting handle all rapid prototyping and
- Is it web-based or require special software to
download and run?
- Why would a service bureau sell software that
provides an advantage to their direct competitors?
This does not seem to make sense to my engineering
- Who, in the US, is using EPOS now and how is it
working for them? Same as for you?
AND to anyone else with an opinion
- This thread seemed to suggest only 3 or 4 companies
that provide online quoting....why is that? does it
not work, or has the industry been too slow to adapt
- If everyone has online quoting, what will happen to
the market? Will there be a price war? How will that
- What is the future of e-commerce within prototyping?
Seems most of what I hear is that making models is a
very skilled art and it's impossible to determine how
much it will cost without first seeing the project
specs? Is this true?
Thank you to anyone who helps.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Behalf Of Mark Bliek
> Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 2:14 PM
> To: 'email@example.com'
> Subject: Online quoting - some statistics from
> Since the beginning of 1998, Materialise has been
running an online Rapid
> Prototyping service through its EPOS system
(Electronic Parts Ordering
> System). It is and has been a significant
contributor to the growth of
> Materialise, which now is one of the biggest Rapid
> and Tooling
> service bureaus in Europe.
> Materialise is currently selling this on-line
> worldwide to
> other Rapid Prototyping service bureaus. As
different companies will have
> different needs to run an on-line quoting system, it
> customized, for
> which a separate division within Materialise
Software has been
> Some numbers how online quoting effected the service
bureau side of
> Materialise from 1998 till the end of 2000:
> 830 registered companies
> 1.100 registered users
> 5.110 orders
> 8.738 parts
> 23.030 quotes (!)
> In 2001, Materialise supplied more than 7600 parts
which were ordered
> The quotes were all issued through the EPOS system,
this in addition to
> quotes which could not be handled by the system
automatically because of
> specific project requirements. The latter were
> The numbers speak for themselves. The biggest
benefit for Materialise was
> the opportunity to grow, while limiting sales cost.
Also, the quotes are
> based on the STL files, which means that relevant
> be used to
> calculate the quote accurately, instead of working
on just the
> bounding box
> dimensions. Because of accurate build time
calculation, capacity planning
> could be automated.
> Benefits for the customer were an instantaneous,
> without the
> need of being in contact with a person (the system
> days/week). Also, as soon as a customer was online
with the EPOS
> server, he
> was notified about special offers, new materials,
new machines and other
> developments at Materialise. The client software is
a free STL viewer,
> through which he communicates with the EPOS server.
> can also be
> used off-line.
> As said at the beginning of this email, we now sell
the solution and
> interested parties can learn more at
> Test driving a demo system can be done by
downloading the client software
> (7.25Mb) at
> If you want to be contacted about an EPOS
installation for your own
> company, please look at
a Materialise office close to you.
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