While attending the Consumer Electronics Show 2016, Utah-based 3D printing services company WhiteClouds announced that they will be purchasing 3DplusMe, the branded 3D capture-to-print company responsible for the 3D printed likeness kiosks popping up in retail stores all over the country. 3DplusMe has ongoing licensing deals with some of the largest video game, entertainment and sports brands in the industry, and they are one of the largest suppliers of 3D printed merchandise to consumers in the country. This year the company has had a tremendous amount of success in delivering full-color 3D products to customers, so it isn’t a surprise that they would be a tantalizing target for WhiteClouds.
As the world’s largest full-color 3D print services provider, WhiteClouds already has an established distribution and production network that can manufacture and deliver high-quality, full-color 3D models and end-use products. Taking over the 3DplusMe fulfilment process should be a breeze for them, and with this high-profile acquisition, WhiteClouds will be introducing their new 3D-as-a-Service (3DaaS) platform. It will offer the owners of intellectual properties and brands to offer their customers a wide range of full-color 3D printed products. The 3DaaS platform is an easy to leverage, turn-key, scalable system that makes personalized and customizable full-color 3D printed products available to the mass market. WhiteClouds will also be adding the brand partners and retail distribution presence of 3DplusMe’s to its portfolio of products and services.
“3DplusMe has helped the world’s biggest brands create new products that engage customers through their one-of-a-kind technology for 3D capture-to-print. Being able to combine both of our expertise furthers our position as the world’s leading provider for 3D services and technology. Through this combination, we bring the complete solution with our 3DaaS platform for brands and businesses, especially on the entertainment side, where demand is skyrocketing,” said CEO of WhiteClouds Jerry Ropelato.
The four 3D capture-to-print services that have made 3DplusMe one of the most successful 3D printed goods providers in the industry are 3D+Heroes, 3D+Characters, 3D+Toybox, and 3D+Gamer. Using the 3DplusMe kiosks anyone can have customized toys, action figures or statues 3D printed with their likeness and shipped directly to them. The process has been exceptionally popular with properties like the Avengers, Star Wars, sports teams and other popular pop culture characters. The company works with major retailers like Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Walmart and Sam’s Club to offer the customized, licensed products from popular brands like Marvel, Hasbro, Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), Assassin’s Creed, DreamWorks, and Halo.
“We’re excited to partner with WhiteClouds and become a key part of their success in consumer [3D printing]. We have an aggressive model for growth and partnering with WhiteClouds helps us scale our technology and empower more brands to use 3D-printing to create innovate products and engage their customers,” said CEO of 3DplusMe Cydni Tetro.
Before the acquisition, 3DplusMe had already raised $2.73 million is operating funds from investors like Subtraction Capital, 3D Systems and Deer Valley Ventures. There were no specific details about the deal or how much was paid for 3DplusMe, however as a company WhiteClouds are virtually unrivaled in their market space. CEO Jerry Ropelato estimates that they currently handle about 70% of all full-color 3D printed consumer product production in the world. WhiteClouds focuses almost entirely on ready-for-market, fully-realized products rather than the prototyping market, seeing the end-consumer mass market space as virtually untapped. Their Utah facility operates more than forty enterprise 3D printers, thirty of which are full-color enterprise-grade 3D printers.
“This was a strategic opportunity in 3D printing to allow the creation of an end-to-end, scalable solution for mass markets. It came together very quickly. 3DplusMe had the front-end 3D experience, brands, and software technology. WhiteClouds had the back-end high-capacity production and the 3D printing technology expertise. Being located within 50 miles of each other was a nice secondary benefit,” explained Ropelato.
The newly joined WhiteClouds and 3DplusMe are both attending this year’s CES 2016 being held from January 6-9, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will be showing off a wide range of products and demoing the technology at Booth #72338 at the Sands, Tech West. Let’s hear your thoughts on this acquisition in the WhiteClouds / 3DplusMe forum on 3DPB.com.
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