We can now see the emergence of material platforms that allow material designers to upload their designs and specifications directly onto a materials platform that can then be searched by potential customers. The benefit of the material platform is to upload the image and supporting data (e.g. material substrate, test results, price, minimum orders quantities). This data can be downloaded directly into a PLM solution via the open API to be used by the design and development teams.
The Material Exchange is an online database which allows designers, materials teams, product developers and material vendors to collaborate, filter and organize the raw materials for their collections all within a secure environment.