The largest stereolithography machine manufacturer in China is setting up shop in the USA.
The company is not moving, but is setting up a major reselling arrangement with RP Sales USA, a reseller of 3D printing and rapid prototyping gear.
If you’re not familiar with Union Tech, they are the 3D printing arm of giant Shanghai Union Technology Corporation, and to date they claim to hold the largest marketshare of the China stereolithography market, and that’s pretty big.
Currently Union Tech offers several different industrial 3D printers using SLA technology, with build volumes ranging from 250 x 250 x 250mm to a huge 800 x 800 x 550mm.
RP Sales USA is holding a press event where visitors will be able to see and touch the machines and sample prints.
I find this move very interesting because it is probably one of the first, but not the last large Chinese 3D printing companies to move into North American sales. Unbeknownst to much of the West, China has been busily inventing and improving a wide variety of 3D printing technologies for years, but their products have largely appeared only in China.
Perhaps this was due to patent conflicts, and possibly due to the challenges of Asian companies adapting to Western culture and business practices. But nevertheless, Union Tech has taken a huge step here to introduce their products to the West.
Western 3D printing companies take note: you have a new competitor on the scene. While they may not yet have the distribution, service and support options available to domestic companies, they may grow in that regard if their product sells strongly.
For industrial 3D printer buyers, this is good news whether you buy Union Tech equipment or not, as their mere presence in the market will tend to drive down prices.