Prusa Research Aims to Become Leading US 3D Printer and Filament Manufacturer by 2025

By on July 8th, 2024 in Corporate, news

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Some of the USA Prusa team posing with David Randolph of Printed Solid and Josef Prusa [Source: Prusa Research]

Prusa Research is dramatically expanding operations in the USA.

The Czech company is one of the leaders in production of desktop 3D printers, now offering not only FFF devices, but also resin and high temperature systems. Their in-house line of filament, Prusament, has been widely recognized as one of the highest quality available.

But there’s been a problem, at least for those in North America: all of this stuff has to be shipped from Europe, where it’s manufactured.

This is particularly noticeable in filament sales. Filament is typically priced around US$20-30 for 1kg of PLA, but when you add shipping costs it can significantly change the cost equation. Because of this most common 3D printer filaments tend to be manufactured and sold regionally, rather than being shipped from overseas — and this goes in every direction.

In spite of Prusament being a popular filament, it always had that extra shipping premium to deal with, and that caused some customers to opt for alternative products produced regionally.

Now that’s changing. Prusa Research has set up Prusament production lines in Delaware to produce the material in the USA for North American distribution.

How has Prusa Research done this? One of their strategic acquisitions from 2022 was Printed Solid, a US-based manufacturer of 3D printer materials. That company had considerable experience in filament production, so it was straightforward for them to replicate the exact production setup for the original Prusament lines in Czechia.

The Prusa MK4 desktop FFF 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

Prusa Research has also set up a manufacturing operation to assemble Prusa MK4 3D printers at the same site, meaning these machines will be considered a domestic product in the USA. That will definitely open up many more sales opportunities, particularly with government institutions.

Josef Prusa writes:

“We’re planning to become the largest manufacturer of 3D printers and filaments in the USA within a year.”

Evidently there is quite a bit of confidence that this move will dramatically open up new sales channels and opportunities for North American sales.

Prusa Research is aware that rapid expansion can affect product quality, so it seems they are taking a very careful approach to scaling up operations in the USA. Josef Prusa explains:

“To give you an example: even with so many products in our portfolio and an expanded team, our tech support is still highly praised for their skills and expertise. Instead of hiring a hundred people in a month and then giving them a couple of onboarding videos, we always preferred a steadier, individual approach, so that people can familiarize themselves with the printers. Instead of catching up with the huge demand by outsourcing some parts of manufacturing elsewhere, we instead expanded our factory here in Prague, in the heart of the European Union. This way we managed to maintain the extreme quality standards. We’re taking the same approach at Printed Solid.”

This is quite sensible and is very likely to succeed. We could see a big boost in US sales of Prusa products in the coming year because of these moves.

And we wondered why Prusa Research acquired Printed Solid two years ago. Now we know why.

Via Prusa Research

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!