iGo3D is a German-based retail chain specializing in 3D printing gear. We took a close look at their operations.
Currently iGo3D has retail locations in various locations in German-speaking countries, but new expansions to Poland and Russia are said to be in the works.
You’d think the stores cater to consumers, as they display multiple personal 3D printers, operate a 3D scan booth and have the capability to 3D print figurines of scanned customers, but it turns out that’s not always the case.
In the German market, at least, iGo3D’s primary customers are small businesses and professionals. It may be that German consumers have not yet discovered the thrills of personal 3D printing, but German business certainly has. Specifically, they’ve found personal machines, though small, are often perfect for “first drafts” of products and components, which might be printed on larger commercial 3D printers when finalized.
iGo3D also provides a gateway for those new to 3D printing. They’ll train people on how to use a machine – before the machine is purchased by the prospective customer. That way the customer can deeply explore the technology, software and specific machine before making a purchase decision. It’s like a very long test drive and seems appropriate for newbies.
A discussion with Michael Sorkin, one of iGo3D’s founders, made it clear to us that the company is on a mission to bring 3D printing technology to everyone. Their focus on user “experience” is a strategy that appears to work and could lead to iGo3D shops soon blossoming across Europe and elsewhere. They have momentum: from only two staff last year, they now have 36.
We’re very impressed with iGo3D. The stores have a clean, friendly look and somehow appear “environmentally green”, even though there’s nothing in particular in that regard in the store. The chain is well-managed and tries to focus on user experience, rather than specific equipment. We believe this is entirely necessary for the majority of the public, who have yet to truly understand what it means to own a 3D printer.
If you happen to have an iGo3D store nearby, you must drop by for a visit.