Prusa buys 3D printer vendor Print Solid to expand its US footprint – TechCrunch

There’s a lot going on in the world of desktop 3D printers – that’s not a sentence I thought I’d be writing anytime soon. Days after MakerBot and Ultimaker announced merger plans, one of the companies’ most highly regarded competitors is making a move of its own. Prague-based Prusa Research is acquiring Printed Solid Inc., a Delaware-based distributor of 3D printers.

Founded in 2011, Prusa shares some DNA with MakerBot and Ultimaker, as a result of the RepRap open source project. The company’s i3 system has become one of the leading FDM-based desktop 3D printers due to its low cost, small footprint, and ease of modification/repair.

Meanwhile, Print Solid was founded in 2013 as a retailer of 3D printing materials and parts. Three years later, the company made its own acquisition, Ranlaser, and has since started to manufacture and sell its own printer security enclosures.

Purchasing the reseller will give Prusa a channel to expand sales into the US Sales of the manufacturer’s products are largely limited to business, government, and educational customers in the United States. This move will further expand that footprint to more consumer sales. MakerBot and Ultimaker also cited expanding sales channels as a key factor in their decision to merge last week.

Print strong notes on a blog post:

By the fourth quarter of 2022, Printed Solid Inc. will acquire additional storage, operating space and staff dedicated to maintaining and enhancing Prusa Research’s already industry-recognized quality and reputation and offering warranty and out-of-warranty repairs and services in the US. USA, including parts. compliance for Prusa Research. Helping decrease the burden of international shipping and shortening turnaround times for customer repairs and replacements.

The Print Solid brand will continue under its new parent, with David Randolph as CEO.

“[Randolph’s] The amazing team will help improve the availability of original Prusa 3D printers, parts, accessories and services beyond the ‘big pond,'” founder Josef Prusa said in a post. “We have already started with the business, government and educational sectors. In the near future, we want to offer 3D printer maintenance services to all customers in the US. Just please, everyone, be patient. We finished the acquisition and the first round of training, but it will take time to get everything up and running so that the team can carry the same load that we can at our headquarters.”

It’s an unusually busy couple of weeks for the world of desktop 3D printing, now several years past its initial bubble. Still, it’s fun to see some movement in space.

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