Rapid online quotes for prototypes

Tom Shelley reports on a service that greatly speeds up quoting and deliveries

Tom Shelley reports on a service that greatly speeds up quoting and deliveries Materialise has now launched an online service that generates quotations for producing rapid prototypes in a matter of seconds, and accepts orders 24/7. The service, called OnSite, was originally launched in Summer 2004, but has now been re-written to make it much more user friendy. It no longer uses external Next Day software and has a new graphical user interface. Users now only need to log in, select their CAD files and choose the appropriate technology (next day SLA, standard SLA, SLS or FDM), material and finish. Ordering is via a four step process. The system generates prices within a few seconds. Quotations are generated using standard parameters. Data is not uploaded to the Materialise server until the very last stage, when the customer has finally confirmed their order. Nobody at Materialise can view or access confidential files until this point has been reached. The system allows plastic prototypes to be ordered world wide 24/7. Wim Verstraeten, OnSite Product Manager explains, "One of our goals during the further development of OnSite was to guide the customers more closely in their in their quotation process. It is now possible to generate and immediate price and shipment day for SLA, SLS and FDM. For other technologies, OnSite helps customers to send enquiries in a more structured way; as a result, the Materialise sales team can handle everything faster and more efficiently. On the other hand, customers can use OnSite to upload their files securely and to avoid possible problems with large email attachments and ftp uploads." Materialise OnSite