We received information from Farsoon that provides an excellent view of their business and coverage.
The Asian company produces lines of polymer and metal 3D printers for industry. Some of their equipment is quite large, and most units are typically used for production purposes.
They provided us with rough machine counts in various categories, which can provide quite an insight into their sales and business coverage.
This is highly unusual: most 3D printer companies rarely if ever reveal anything about their sales. Many companies never do so.
A very few companies may occasionally reveal statistics. Prusa Research, for example, will sometimes indicate they have shipped a number of machines or a production number per month. Two years ago they made a big deal out of their 100,000th machine.
Other publicly-traded companies may sometimes reveal a machine count in their annual report, but most often they’ll merely indicate whether unit sales were up or down.
In other words, the unit sales of 3D printer companies are a very mysterious business.
However, Farsoon provided some rather complete information. Let’s take a look.
They say they’ve placed more than 500 units in customer premises. Note that 500 is a lot less than Prusa Research’s 100,000, and that’s because Farsoon’s equipment costs 100X as much: they don’t need to sell as many to make the same amount of revenue.
Farsoon apparently has some 200+ units operating in house. These are no doubt used for machine production and for printing customer parts. A common approach among big machine manufacturers is to provide services to prospective clients until their print volume is high enough to justify a purchase.
Farsoon said the split between polymer and metal equipment is about 50-50. That’s interesting, but they also say their metal 3D printer business is growing very rapidly as aerospace and automotive sectors adopt the technology more deeply.
In particular, Farsoon said their large-format metal devices were particularly popular, with over 80 devices in place at automotive and aerospace customers.
One very interesting statistic is that Farsoon has placed 150 units in 3D print service bureaus. These operations, which have mostly been gradually migrating to full-service contract manufacturing services, use a wide breadth of 3D printing processes in addition to other making technologies. Evidently Farsoon has a large footprint in this area.
Farsoon added they’ve increased their global staffing level to about 400 from only 300 in the past six months. That’s a pandemic recovery if I ever saw one.
It’s refreshing to see such statistics from Farsoon, and I’m hoping some of their competitors might adopt this data release practice.