3D Systems announced sale of its STEAMtrax system to Polar3D. Is this the end of their cuts?
STEAMtrax is a comprehensive online system for educators looking to integrate 3D printing technology into their curriculums. It’s really a treasure trove of valuable 3D content that would be highly desired by any of the struggling smaller desktop 3D printer manufacturers seeking to find a way to leverage their products into a profitable area of application, in this case education.
Apparently Polar3D is the winner here. The small company produces a desktop 3D printer with an unusual motion control system that we reviewed some time ago. Like many similar small manufacturers of desktop 3D printing gear, they seek to expand their market beyond the DIY maker community, which has been swamped with literally hundreds of not-particularly-unique 3D printer offerings.
The smart 3D printer manufacturers have been focusing on application areas, such as education, professional designers, aerospace, manufacturing and others. But for the small manufacturers, the education market is perhaps the most accessible.
And now it seems that Polar3D has the parts to get there, too.
But then there’s a question: what other bits and pieces might 3D Systems sell off as a result of their ongoing reorganization? The company acquired well over 50 companies in recent years, and clearly hasn’t done much with at least some of them. The company must have buildings full of software, tools, patents, products, 3D content and even skilled bodies that could potentially be sold to interested parties.
Perhaps we’ll see more sales like the one to Polar3D as the new 3D Systems CEO gets his new strategy in gear.