We were initially puzzled by Stratasys’ peculiar lack of equipment announcements at this year’s EuroMold, but then it suddenly made a lot of sense.
As we reported earlier, the 3D printing giant did not announce any new 3D printing gear, but instead chose to talk about how they’ll be focusing on vertical areas in an attempt to educate more potential customers on the advantages of 3D printing in manufacturing and other domains. Check out the image above of their recent show display designed to attract the aerospace industry.
It makes sense, as we explained, because it’s a way of expanding their market without having to introduce even more new equipment. Why make newer equipment when the majority of industry still doesn’t use your existing product line? While there have been significant introductions of 3D printing tech into industry over the past few years, it will be a very long time until it becomes widespread.
But there’s another reason for Stratasys rushing to gain customers. We believe this part of their strategy to fend off incoming mega-player HP, whose newly invented 3D printing technology is set to launch commercially for industry in 2016.
It seems that by then, Stratasys hopes to secure as much of the customer base as possible while HP is out of the market. That will just make things much more difficult for HP, even without Stratasys introducing improved product over the next two years. Which, of course, they will.
Are we dreaming here? It appears not, as our speculations were more or less confirmed by unnamed Stratasys higher-ups earlier this week. The focus on customer applications is but one of several moves Stratasys is planning to counteract HP’s market entry.
Things just got a bit tougher for HP.