Sintratec Shuts Down Operations After a Decade in the 3D Printing Industry

By on May 10th, 2024 in Corporate, news

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Sintratec Co-Founders Dominik Solenicki and Christian von Burg announce company shutdown [Source: Sintratec]

In a surprise announcement this week, Sintratec has ceased operations.

The Swiss company has been manufacturing low-cost SLS equipment for a decade, and was one of the first to break through the huge price barrier for using SLS technology.

In an announcement by co-founders Dominik Solenicki and Christian von Burg,they said:

“After a decade of innovation and service in the 3D printing industry, we regrettably announce that Sintratec is ceasing operations effective immediately due to recent bankruptcy proceedings. Over the years, we have been privileged to serve a diverse and vibrant community of customers and partners with our advanced 3D printing solutions.”

Our first story on Sintratec was in September 2016, when we explored the company’s first product, the Sintratec Kit. This was an inexpensive desktop SLS system that at the time was priced at a mere US$5,650 — far lower than the industrial SLS systems of the day.

Back then the idea was that the powerful SLS technology should blossom when lower cost alternatives are provided. Somehow that didn’t work out as planned for Sintratec.

While the company will no longer be operating, there are plenty of Sintratec customers in the wild that will need support. In good form, Sintratec has made arrangements with two of their prime resellers to take up service needs. In EMEA, this will be done by KREOS, and in North America by 3DChimera. Both will provide parts, service and materials for existing Sintratec customers.

There’s few details about the causes of the bankruptcy, but my suspicion is that it’s due to competition. While there are few others providing low cost SLS systems, the problem is likely that more or less equivalent parts can be produced using alternative 3D print processes — or at least good enough for many buyers.

When Sintratec was formed a decade ago, FFF and resin 3D printers were not particularly capable. SLS was then seen as one of the few ways to 3D print production-capable parts in an engineering material, PA.

But as we all have seen, FFF devices have increased in capability enormously in recent years. It’s now possible to obtain powerful desktop equipment that can print strong and detailed parts in a wide variety of engineering materials — and at very low price points.

Those price points are less than the cost of SLS.

Sintratec is now added to the list of defunct 3D printer manufacturers, which include the likes of Solidoodle, MakerGear, Arevo, McCor Technologies, BluePrinter, Solido, RepRapPro and many others.

While it’s sad to see another company cease operations, it’s part of the ongoing path to progress in the industry: companies that develop products with enough value succeed, while others do not. The result is a 3D printer market that is overall stronger, albeit without Sintratec.

Via Sintratec

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!