Gartner 3D printing analyst and Fabbaloo friend Pete Basiliere visited Stratasys’ HQ to find out more about their strategy going forward.
Gartner's visit to Stratasys HQ seems relevant, considering the recent tumble in stock price; you’d think the company would change gears, at least a little, to push their company forward at a faster pace. Basiliere found this was indeed the case. He explains their overall strategy:
As it moves through 2016, Stratasys will be shifting its go-to-market strategy from an evangelistic focus on how 3D printing enables prototyping as well as creating the tools, jigs and fixtures that are used in production to a practical, solutions-oriented focus on the manufacturing of finished goods. The company will enable this through a growing range of printers, technologies and materials, print services and consulting as well as collaboration with educators, researchers, customers and partners.
Basiliere suggests that Gartner still believes in the long-term viability of 3D printing as a technology and we strongly agree with him. We’ve thought for some time that Stratasys (and indeed other major 3D printing companies) are best seen as long plays where they will become significantly larger as the technology gradually creeps into increasingly larger manufacturing segments.
Basiliere reports Stratasys has four key strategies for their “long game”:
Expand support for prototyping and tooling uses across industries while developing a new approach for the manufacturing market in key vertical markets
Cultivate a “high touch” sales team to introduce 3D print technologies and solutions into new accounts and applications such as high-value manufacturing while continuing to leverage its reseller partners for sales, product and service delivery
Deliver engineered materials and printers capable of supporting and extending its strategy
Incorporate Stratasys material extrusion technologies into MakerBot so its “Replicators” function at the level necessary to continue growing in the enterprise desktop printer and education markets
The last point is most interesting to us; it’s been several years since the MakerBot acquisition and we have yet to see significant crossover of technology and patents between the two entities, which was initially thought of as an important aspect of the deal. Now that seems to be changing, which can be only good news for desktop 3D printer operators.
Basiliere believes that 2016 could be the year where this strategy demonstrates “merit”. We’re not sure it’s game over or not in 2016, but we’ll certainly be watching to see what happens.