Very disappointing news today: desktop 3D printer manufacturer Solido appears to have ceased operating. Reports indicate they've laid off their entire workforce (some thirty people) and are being liquidated by receivers.
Solido had a very unique approach that we've written about several times: ultra-thin plastic sheets were glued and cut to patterns, gradually developing into unique models. This approach enabled Solido printers to attempt different types of models not possible on most other 3D printers. Also, Solido offered a recycling service for plastic sheet scraps.
We're not sure what might happen to this recycling program now, and with that the fate of existing Solido owners is in jeopardy - unless alternate sources for usable plastic sheets are identified.
The ten-year old Solido's troubles evidently began recently when prime investor Fortissimo stopped financing after transferring only a portion of the intended USD$8.5M investment round. According to Globes sources:
... Management and investors had concluded that heavy investment would be needed to develop the technology and market, and to turn the company into a market leader. The sources added that the market "was amazing with great potential", but that huge resources were needed to be the leader in it.
If this report is true, Solido now joins Desktop Factory on the side of the road to personal replication. We thank them for their ingenuity and efforts.
But now we're wondering: who will take up the challenge to produce a true, consumer-ready 3D printer?