3D PRINTER MAKER Makerbot has launched a European arm to pave the way for 3D printing beyond the US.
Makerbot, which is a subsidiary of Stratasys, is taking over assets of one of its German resellers, Hafner's Buro, a company that already has connections across Europe, in order to lead the desktop 3D printing industry "in practically every major European country".
The deal is effective immediately, meaning that Makerbot Europe will continue to manage the large network of Makerbot resellers throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The 3D printing firm said the acquisition is a "major step" in securing a strong foothold in the European market.
"The company has traditionally focused its sales and marketing efforts in the United States. Now, with the creation of Makerbot Europe, it will be able to expand its reach in many countries," the firm said in its announcement.
The company's present resellers will transition into working with Makerbot Europe, and the new organisation will be led by Alexander Hafner, who has been owner and president of Hafner's Buro since its founding in 1988 and will be general manager of the new division.
Makerbot Europe will incorporate Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UK.
Existing Makerbot distributors and resellers will continue to run their businesses as usual, Makerbot said, and are expected to start to be assimilated into Makerbot Europe's sales and marketing organisation within a six-month timeframe.
During that time, Makerbot Europe will also be expanding the company's reach and looking for additional strategic partnerships with resellers and key retailers that can help expand its penetration in the European market.
In January, maker of the Makerbot line Stratasys launched what it claimed was the first multi-material full colour 3D printer in the UK, the Objet500 Connex3.
The colour 3D printer, which was first unveiled in January, is designed to drastically change design, engineering and manufacturing processes and was shown off in April at the Deveop3D Live conference at Warwick University by Industrial Plastic Fabrications (IPF), the 3D printing services company that is the first to bring the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 to Blighty. Its video demo is below. µ
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