We had a chat with Trilab’s Michal Boháč to find out how the company has been doing.
Trilab is a Czech-based company that produces industrial delta-style 3D printers. Delta 3D printers are fairly rare in the industry in general, and particularly in the professional and industrial markets.
This style of 3D printing offers the ability to produce large, tall objects at increased speeds. The idea is that the motion system is more responsive and can handle higher speeds. Trilab currently markets three devices, the AzteQ Dynamic, AzteQ Industrial and DeltiQ 2, which we’ve written about previously.
The secret to these delta 3D printers is that they are designed for industrial use: heated build chambers up to 80C can allow the use of almost any engineering material. This is quite unlike typical delta devices that are similar in function to low-level desktop devices.
The company was reasonably successful, but in 2021 they were suddenly acquired by fellow Czech company Prusa Research, which you may have heard of. Prusa Research is one of the world’s largest producers of desktop 3D printers, and has an enormous following of users worldwide.
Prusa Research is massively larger than Trilab, so I wondered how this arrangement is working out.
In discussions with Boháč it appears that Trilab is still operating as if they were independent, but with a great deal of assistance from their “big brother”.
They’ve apparently moved into 1,000sm (11,000sf) offices, and gone from 16 staff to 36 in a period of only eight months. While those numbers are not large, they are very significant for a small company to absorb.
But the partnership is not quite what you’d expect. The two companies produce products that address radically different markets, at least for now.
That means Prusa Research can bring some things to the Trilab table, but not everything. For example, they were able to bring people, but not necessarily systems.
Prusa Research’s widespread fame is mainly in the consumer and professional market, but far less so in the industrial markets that Trilab is addressing. In fact, it may be that some Trilab prospects may see the company as “Prusa”, when in fact they market a completely different type of product. This is perhaps why the Trilab name and brand persist: it’s very different from Prusa Research.
That said, there are plenty of benefits to being part of the Prusa Research family. One is being able to participate in volume discounts for component purchases, with some examples yielding savings up to 2/3 of the former purchase price.
Boháč said there are a lot of “small things” that benefit Trilab after becoming part of the Prusa Research family. He told us:
“We did not expect as many benefits as we’ve seen.”
It sounds like the acquisition is going well.