Carlsbad, Calif. — Prototype and batch-production specialist Forecast 3D invested about $3 million during 2017, mostly for Multi-Jet Fusion equipment from HP Inc.
Forecast 3D has "the world's largest MJF production facility," President and CEO Corey Weber said in an office interview.
Brothers Corey and Donovan Weber co-founded, own and manage the business of Carlsbad-based Product Slingshot Inc. doing business as Forecast 3D. Donovan Weber is chief operating officer.
"MJF is exciting and brings real change to manufacturing," Corey Weber said. After only a few months, "MJF now represents 20 percent of our business."
Weber characterized Forecast 3D as "the oldest rapid prototype service bureau in the country." Industry consolidation in recent years has placed numerous competing bureaus under the ownership of larger organizations.
Forecast 3D took delivery of its first two Singapore-manufactured MJF machines from HP in April and, subsequently, added 10 more units. Weber said each of the 12 MJF printers cost about $155,000. Each of five MJF processing stations was $60,000, and 28 MJF-built units cost $15,000 each.
With MJF, "the revision process can be lightning fast," Weber said. "It is amazing to do in a production process."
The company says it became the official West Coast Experience Center for MJF by HP in June.
Apart from the MJF work, the company's other technologies by volume include fused deposition modeling, stereolithography apparatus, direct metal laser sintering, computer numerical control machining and PolyJet 3D printing.
At one time, Forecast 3D handled selective laser sintering in-house but outsources that SLS work now.