Turn Your Website into a Digital Vending Machine with Instant Digital Product Samples

Turn Your Website into a Digital Vending Machine with Instant 3D Part Models

Beat the Competition on Speed and Performance by Providing Instant 3D Part Models to Your Customers.


Engaging with customers and giving them more decision-making power are essential to developing a better digital customer experience. Although delivering free product samples was once a great way to do this, today’s engineers don’t have the time to wait for a sample part delivery.

So how do you engage with customers while still moving at their speed?


Shortcut: download The B2B Guide to Digital Customer Experience now, and learn how you can build a long-term solution to providing 3D part models to customers faster.


A great way for manufacturers to engage with their customers is by giving them 3D part models. Essentially, these CAD models are online product samples of your products. While some manufacturers promise to send a physical product sample to customers within 24 – 48 hours, you can give engineers the sample they need instantly.

With an online configurator, engineers can access and customize your parts in real time before downloading a free CAD model of their designed part. Since the online configurator lives on your website, your website because the new favorite “vending machine” for online components.

The configurator gives customers the power to access parts when they want them, to choose which product parameters best fit their design and to receive an instant 3D part model that they can immediately test in their application.

By offering free and instant CAD downloads of your products, the online configurator creates a win-win for manufacturers and engineers:

Engineers download and integrate product samples directly into their CAD designs to test if it fits before purchasing. The customer never has to leave his computer, and the manufacturer never has to ship a physical sample to “test” in a working environment.

Turn Your Website into a Digital Vending Machine with Instant 3D Part Models


Moving to a 100% Digital Process

Engineers spend many hours building and testing their designs, and they can’t afford to waste time recreating digital versions of parts they buy. When specifying a component part, engineers need the ability to find, configure and download parts they need from manufacturers they trust.

Finding parts and suppliers was the number one reason (68%) engineers used the Internet in 2017, with most customers using search engines, supplier websites and online catalogs to find parts and services, according to IEEE GlobalSpec. The interactive product catalog moves the entire delivery process online – where manufacturers’ engineering customers already exist.


The Ultimate Guide to DCX: Everything you need to know about digital customer experience in the manufacturing industry.


Turn Your Website into a Digital Vending Machine with Instant 3D Part Models


3D CAD Models: The Key to a Better Digital Customer Experience

By placing instant product samples where engineers are already searching, manufacturers increase sales by making information easier to access and speeding up the design process.

Like any other vending machine, the online configurator gives engineers the power to choose the exact product they need for their design. However, the configurator exceeds vending machine standards and customer expectations by making those products free and downloadable in over 100 native file formats and versions.

Now, engineers can make countless digital requests with the speed, efficiency and accuracy the old process could never promise. And, manufacturers can take advantage of the interactive product catalog and instant digital part downloads to instantly meet their customers’ needs.


Real-World Example: CeaseFire

The challenge for CeaseFire was to help their customers choose the right product for their application. Their products, often identified as the red cylinders seen in industrial and commercial spaces, look similar even though they are different shapes and sizes, says Cody Kitterman, Production Manager at CeaseFire, a Vancouver, WA based manufacturer of fire-suppression system.

“Formerly, customers had a tough time gauging size and scale of our products, which made selecting the correct part for their application difficult, too. We would provide dimensions but often that wasn’t enough. Sometimes we would end up sending physical samples, which is very inefficient and costly,” said Kitterman.

By moving their products to an online configurator, CeaseFire modernized their customer experience with cutting-edge 3D visualization and instant product downloads.

“Now, the customer gets to digitally ‘touch and feel’ the product before they buy. The instant 3D visualization is a great way to preview the product, and the native 3D CAD model is the perfect way to test it digitally in a specific environment,” said Kitterman.

With faster speed, an improved online experience and more customer satisfaction, it’s no wonder more companies are turning to instant digital product samples.

So if you’re a manufacturer who hasn’t yet made the leap to providing 3D part downloads, the only question that remains is: What’s stopping you?


Follow the blog series: Digital Customer Experience for Industrial Manufacturers

Next: Meet the Needs of Engineers Today with On Demand Data Access

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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.