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The RapidDirect Manufacturing Network Explained

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    RapidDirect provides customers with exceptional quality at the lowest prices. This is how our extensive manufacturing network helps us do it.

    For almost a decade, RapidDirect has been offering customers high-quality prototyping and manufacturing services at low prices.

    We carry out CNC machining, injection molding, sheet metal fabrication and 3D printing, and our team of expert technicians works with customers to arrive at a tailor-made solution for any project.

    We’re not the only manufacturer in the business though. There are thousands of companies out there offering machining, molding and other rapid prototyping services, each claiming to provide the highest level of expertise for the best value for money.

    Time and time again, however, RapidDirect customers receive high-quality parts at prices far lower than the competition. In fact, we can frequently offer quotations around 30 percent lower than other manufacturers.

    So how do we do it? Do we have a secret resource of ultra-cheap materials? Do we make huge losses and expect investors to bear the cost? Is it magic?

    This is what really makes RapidDirect more cost-effective than the competition.

    How our company works

    In one sense, RapidDirect is a lot like other manufacturers out there. We operate a factory in Shenzhen — the heart of the cutting-edge tech industry in China — where we have technicians, machinists and other manufacturing professionals who build high-quality parts.

    We believe we have some of the most talented staff in the business, and we take pride in running our factory in the best way possible, with only high-end equipment and materials.

    But our in-house manufacturing is just one part of our business, and it’s not the only reason we have the lowest prices in town.

    We offer such low prices because RapidDirect is also a gateway into the largest manufacturing network in China.

    That means when all of our in-house machinists are occupied, or when a customer has specific requirements not suited to our facility, we turn to our manufacturing partners to get the job done.

    It works like this: When we think an order is best suited to another manufacturer, we add it to our online manufacturer platform, where we outline the demands of the project. (How many units are required? What process will be used? What tolerances has the customer specified?)

    Then comes the selection. After we’ve put out our request, several manufacturers bid to fulfill the project, and from there we deploy an algorithm that helps us determine the best manufacturing partner for the job.

    That algorithm takes into account several factors, including the manufacturer’s proposed price, but also their number of machines, number of employees, how long they have been in business, how their previous orders have turned out, whether their lead times have been accurate in the past and several other details.

    Of course, all of our 50+ manufacturing partners undergo strict assessment to become part of the RapidDirect network, so we know we can depend on each of them.

    Why our network produces great parts

    Working with an extensive manufacturing network doesn’t mean RapidDirect compromises on quality.

    In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we’re capable of providing such reliable service: We know our 50+ manufacturing partners inside out, so we’ll only assign orders to manufacturers who will be a great fit for the project at hand. If you need sheet metal parts, we’ll find the best sheet metal specialist available; if you need a colorful 3D printed prototype, we’ll seek out one of partners with PolyJet capabilities.

    Moreover, because we assign a RapidDirect employee to every manufacturing facility on our network, we can oversee the entire project once a partner has been chosen, making sure everything goes according to plan.

    The assigned RapidDirect representative oversees production in several ways.

    First they carry out a pre-production check, in which they review the CAD file, confirm chosen materials and assess the manufacturer’s machining (or other process) preparations.

    Next they provide real-time production updates, including photographs, which the customer can follow via the RapidDirect user platform.

    Finally, once the parts are complete, our representative performs a quality control check. This involves visually checking the parts and creating a full dimensional inspection report before the parts are packaged and prepared for shipment.

    Regardless of who carries out manufacturing — whether it’s RapidDirect’s in-house team or one of our trusted partners — we make sure the parts are exceptional.

    More than just a machine shop

    RapidDirect offers the best of both worlds. We’re engineers and machinists at heart, and our factory consistently produces high-quality parts and prototypes for a range of clients.

    But our hands-on technical experience has allowed us to become much more than a machine shop.

    We know the industry, so we can discern a reliable manufacturer from an unreliable one. You can therefore rest assured that every partner on the RapidDirect manufacturing network is fully capable of fulfilling even the most demanding orders.

    And trust us when we say we can handle those orders. With more than 50 manufacturing partners helping satisfy our customers’ needs, we can produce over 5,000 parts per day.

    Best of all, our intuitive online platform gives customers access to our verified manufacturing network without forcing them to search the market for the best deal.

    Upload your parts today and see for yourself how our manufacturing network delivers the goods.


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