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Mass Portal Splits Up!

Janis Grinhofs, now CEO of FabControl, and the new CEO of Mass Portal, Imants Treidis

Janis Grinhofs, now CEO of FabControl, and the new CEO of Mass Portal, Imants Treidis

Mass Portal has split up into two different companies. 

The Latvia-based operation is responsible for the creation of the very well-regarded Pharaoh series of 3D printers. These delta-style machines produce some of the very best quality prints I’ve ever seen. 

And they even operate sideways! 

More recently the company began marketing an array system where you could deploy many Mass Portal devices in a single installation. We were told this configuration could be used, for example, to enable testing of a design in many different materials or print configurations all at once. 

But it seems their thinking has gone far beyond that concept with this latest move. 

What happened? Their long-time CEO, Janis Grinhofs, is now the CEO of an entirely new company, FabControl. This company takes charge of the software that was being developed by Mass Portal. Meanwhile, the vacant CEO position at Mass Portal is now taken by Imants Treidis, who will continue the work to develop the hardware series. 

This is an interesting split; software vs hardware. But there’s some logic here. They explain: 

Mr. Grinhofs will focus on his vision to build a next-generation software platform for managing Digital Manufacturing Workflows. The core motivation behind this reorganization is the customer’s need to make workflow software work with more hardware besides exclusively Mass Portal machines. 

Aha - it seems that they’ve realized that the sophisticated software they were devising for use with the Mass Portal array system could also be used for many other machines, and that the software to do this would itself be of significant value. 

Thus the spin off company. 

I’m wondering if this spin off company, FabControl, might eventually be more valuable than the original hardware company? I think it may be possible because there is an astonishing power in large numbers of parallel 3D printers that has yet to be unleashed. 

We’ve seen several attempts at this, with MakerBot’s Innovation Center as an example, along with Stratasys’ Continuous Demonstrator. My understanding is that the integration of such equipment into existing manufacturing processes is quite complex. Stratasys has even partnered with Siemens for this, among other reasons. 

Now it seems that Mass Portal may be building their own version of this software. 

Via Mass Portal

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