gained a 17% share of the worldwide 3D printer market in its first year of operation.
My first ruminations were on the motivation for these acquisitions. Call me cynical, but I could not help but wonder at first if the company motive was to buy the low-end 3D printer vendors to suppress sales, and protect market share within the whole additive manufacturing (AM) industry. 3D Systems does have a reputation for being aggressive and pretty closed off to journalists and customers alike. But although hard to interact with, it is hard to deny the success the company has achieved with additive technologies. I have come around to thinking that there were probably different motivations for each acquisition rather than one holistic subversive conspiracy!I suspect that the V-Flash has not met expectations — internally or at large — and therefore the BfB product line was an attractive proposition in that it was a ready-made, working solution. It has been bought as a going concern, and the 3D Systems announcement asserts that the Bristol, UK-based BfB facility will be undertaking business as usual.
We think is a great example of a current additive manufacturing company looking out for the lower end of the market and not just selling $15-30K+ hardware.
Arguably, this is a triple win: the Bits from Bytes folks get access to 3D Systems’ depth of knowledge, 3D Systems gets an impressive company, and customers will undoubtedly get access to even-more clever machines to come.
Will 3D Systems be able to integrate all these assets and benefit from them optimally? The jury is still out on that one, but it seems that 3D Systems CEO Abe Reichental is doubling down on the emergence of a mass market for 3D printing.