European 3D print retailer iGo3D has inked a deal with Spanish 3D provider Sicnova 3D to provide manufacturing services.
This is quite a switch for iGo3D, who began as a storefront retail 3D printer operation, which we visited a few years ago.
The company seems to have dropped its physical locations, likely as a result of the crash in consumer 3D printing in 2015, where it became more challenging to operate in that mode. Even MakerBot dropped their storefront operations a couple of years ago.
Today iGo3D operates basically online, selling a wide variety of desktop 3D printing equipment to educators, engineers, architects and hobbyists, mainly in central Europe.
But now they’ve announced an interesting deal:
iGo3D and Grupo Sicnova 3D, two leading European providers of 3D printing solutions, announced today the creation of AMS, a common brand that will focus on Vertical Markets.
The initial goal of AMS is to provide manufacturing companies with 3D Print Factory solutions based on 3D printers. For this goal, the companies created AMS-Print Factory division.
3D Print Factories can be ideal for production-on-demand of short runs. Since additive manufacturing offers total design freedom and requires no tools, major manufacturers are expected to initially use these solutions in new lines of products. This way they can reduce their time-to-market and test the demand with a minor investment when compared to traditional manufacturing.
And, iGo3D’s Nadia Yaakoubi explained:
This is our first big step into the 3D Printing professional Market, where we believe that also desktop 3d printers are going to be highly used by the industry.
I suspect they are attempting to leverage their good presence and branding in central Europe to develop a new line of business: low volume manufacturing, which has proven a popular business model in the USA. I suspect the same success can be had in Europe, and their partnership with Sicnova 3D could be the way to do so.
That said, it is likely there will eventually be a highly competitive market for low volume manufacturing emerge in Europe, so getting in before it’s crowded is definitely a good idea.