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Bridge Production

  • Tooling Delayed? Get a Limited Number of Parts Now
  • Ideal for Soft Launches or Market Testing
  • Bring Your New Products to Market Faster
DMLS bridge production part example

Fathom’s Bridge Production Services
Powerful options between prototyping and production stages

Bridge production – making an initial lower quantity of parts – can help you solve a number of common problems, including side-stepping tooling delays, meeting regulatory requirements and conducting market research if you’re unsure of demand for your new product. And it’s not just limited to additive technologies. Learn how it can help your business.

Accelerate Your Time to Market
and Sidestep Any Hurdles

A big part of our business is helping our customers to efficiently bring their parts from concept and prototyping to production – accelerating their time to market. But we also help them with other critical needs – such as bridge production.

Bridge production refers to an initial, lower-quantity production of a part that can be produced quickly to meet a variety of needs. Additive manufacturing is the most frequently used technology used for this manufacturing method. But other manufacturing methods that have a relatively short turn-around time can also be used, including these in the Fathom portfolio:

3D printing tech taking out parts

“Bridge production refers to the initial, lower-quantity production of a new product or part that the manufacturer performs quickly. That is, production carried out now: before the tooling is produced, before the final process is engineered, before the part or product design is even finalized. Additive manufacturing has expanded this possibility, bringing a new level of ease, nimbleness and flexibility to bridge production. This is fundamentally changing what kinds of products and what pace of product development are possible. – Peter Zelinski

Scenarios Where Bridge Production Can Be Valuable

Bridge production can help to solve these four problems:

Sidestep Tooling Delays // What happens when your production tooling is delayed? In the past, you had no choice but to push back your product launch. With bridge production, your manufacturing partner can produce a limited number of parts using a different method, such as additive manufacturing, to fill this gap – enabling you to launch your product on time.

In-Market Testing // Leading companies today often test new product designs with a limited number of customers before doing a full launch. Bridge production provides them with several hundred or several thousand parts so they can gauge customer feedback and make part design tweaks before the full product launch. This approach can also be valuable if customer demand for a new product is unpredictable.

Niche Market Opportunities // Some part-making opportunities are too small to justify making a mold. Bridge production expands the range of products that can be brought to market without expensive tooling.

Fill Supply Chain Gaps // When a supply chain disruption happens, you may be left without an adequate supply of parts to keep your production line running. Bridge production can help to fill that gap.

Bridge production icon

Benefits of Bridge Production

Thanks to the widespread availability of affordable additive manufacturing and other fast-turn technologies, a growing number of manufacturers are using bridge production to enhance their operations. Its benefits include:

Accelerate New Product Development // It can help manufacturers bring new products to market faster and at a lower cost.

Streamline Compliance // Some industries have certification or regulatory compliance processes that must be completed before a product can be launched. Bridge production enables a limited number of parts to be built quickly to meet these needs.

Accommodate Design Changes // They can continue to be made to a part prior to committing to the production of tooling.

Flexible // Bridge production is flexible – it can continue for as long as the customer requires and may even turn into the primary manufacturing method, if needed.

Service Part Solution // It can serve as a viable way to meet customer needs as part demand declines at the end of its life cycle. This is especially valuable for service parts that may no longer be economically viable to make using high-production manufacturing methods.

Why Choose Fathom for Your Bridge Production Needs?

Fathom has the expertise and technology to help you meet your needs faster.

Bridge production is a core competency of Fathom Manufacturing, and with our deep engineering and product development expertise and 25+ manufacturing methods, we can help you accelerate your new product introductions.

Fathom’s overall focus is supporting customers from early prototyping to bridge production to short-medium run production.

As we make recommendations for manufacturing methods, materials and processes, we always work with the end in mind – suggesting changes that will hold up well throughout the product life cycle.

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