A pioneering French 3D print firm, Le FabShop, has closed its doors forever.
Launched several years ago by Fabbaloo friend Bertier Luyt, the company intended on delivering high-quality 3D designs suitable for 3D printing. However, it seems that the company wasn’t able to make a success of the venture. Founder Bertier Luyt explains from a post on Medium (translated by Google from French):
Unfortunately after 18 months of fundraising, we were forced to put the company into liquidation; Since September 2015 we were in receivership, and despite the efforts of the whole team, we could not meet our deadlines to 30 June 2016.
I’ve been following the company for several years now, having met Luyt on several occasions. He’s one of those high-powered entrepreneur types, always busy and trying to move the company forward.
However, he was at a significant disadvantage for several reasons.
Early in its history Le FabShop was a major distributor for MakerBot in Europe, back when MakerBots were one of the few desktop 3D printers available. Distribution was one of their major income streams.
However, in 2014 MakerBot, then under Stratasys, began to significantly change their distribution systems, moving away from smaller distributors and instead handing the bulk of distribution to major carriers.
The small players like Le FabShop then had to buy their product from the big distributors, who took a large cut of the margin, leaving very little for companies like Le FabShop.
At that point, Le FabShop shifted focus away from reselling and instead towards design. We wrote about their transition in early 2015.
The company then transitioned into a number of 3D print-related activities, including design, fashion, education and publishing.
Unfortunately, it appears that the switch was ultimately not able to pay the bills.
I’m disappointed that this company could not continue, but it is yet another casualty of the backlash against “personal” 3D printing that myself and our writers have so often written about recently. The money-making schemes of a few companies worked for them, but in the process many others were attracted to the 3D print world and did not work out so well.
Including Le FabShop.
The company is now gone, but they will be remembered by their contributions to the 3D print community, including one of the most notable printable 3D models ever made: the famous Elephant, available now and forever on Thingiverse and other sites.
We here wish Bertier Luyt all the best in his future projects, of which we’re sure there will be many.
Via Medium (French)