bud5-300x67If the new year is any indication, this is going to be a busy and fruitful year for Stratasys; in fact, it’s already been a busy day—as it is for many who are currently attending SOLIDWORKS World 2016 in Dallas from January 31st to February 3rd. New products and partnerships abound in the air, with two being specific to Stratasys. As we reported earlier, they unveiled an exciting new enhancement on the color 3D printing front with their Objet Connex3 and a partnership with Adobe which is a big part in pulling off all of the printer’s new features.

And before anyone could even break out a sandwich for lunch, the name Stratasys was rolling off our tongues again today—but this time along with MakerBot—as the two keep it in the family with quite a logical new partnership and agreement that offers what sounds like common sense integration of their products and way of making sure that both Stratasys and MakerBot increase market share.

mAccording to today’s announcement, the new sales partnership program involves both allowing and extending the cross-selling of their products, as well as permitting sales partners to offer both MakerBot and Stratasys 3D printers. This not only raises the hopes that they will keep all their customers purchasing one or the other as their needs change and advance, but the new agreement also offers convenience as they only have to visit one particular reseller for access to the entire lineup of products. In their press release, the companies stated that because both of their 3D printers ‘fit into different stages of the product design and development cycle,’ their client base already using both products should be able to look forward to not only better design, but also lower costs in development, and they should see innovation accelerating—just what everyone wants to hear!

To the benefit of resellers, MakerBot is also beginning a training program that will allow them a comprehensive understanding of and familiarity with their products, as they begin offering their customers this complete portfolio of products.

“We believe that both Stratasys and MakerBot can greatly benefit from each other’s strengths–and so can our customers,” said Jonathan Jaglom, CEO at MakerBot. “This collaboration between the two companies gives our customers access to a larger suite of products that is designed to speed up the design process and lower costs. The partnership program also empowers sales partners to better consult their customers on how to make their product development processes more effective and gain a competitive edge.”

UntitledThere’s no doubt that the products offered by both MakerBot and Stratasys are indeed complementary, and allow for product development from beginning to end, as well as offering 3D printers for all levels of expertise. With the MakerBot, for instance, a company can begin prototyping affordable, and allowing their team to explore ideas and designs. Once they’ve decided on a final prototype, they can use a streamlined process for then moving to a Stratasys 3D printer for producing the final piece, or a prototype meant to go on to more complex testing.

“Stratasys helps professional customers with prototyping, tooling, manufacturing and many other aspects of product development. Organizations, hospitals and educators without access to Stratasys 3D Printers can start prototyping on a MakerBot and then use Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (SDM) to have high quality 3D prints and parts delivered to them in a variety of colors and materials,” states the company in their press release.

A good example of this process they see working for many of their customers would be that of Robert Welch, a UK company currently using both MakerBot and Stratasys 3D printers as they prepare, explore and experiment with designs, and then begin to shape the prototype into more formal, finished product. At Robert Welch, they are using MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printers as they begin the prototyping process, and then as they near the finish line with a design, they head to the Stratasys Objet-line 3D printer to create extremely realistic prototypes before they go to final production.

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Having the MakerBot at Robert Welch is ‘almost like having another employee,’ states one designer.

“Using the MakerBot allows us to really get the shape refined and make sure that it feels nice in the hand,” says Kit deBretton Gordon, senior designer at Robert Welch. “You can actually use it as a 3D object so people understand it.”

“And there’s no real sort of risk,” says another of their designers. “We can just print as many as we want, and then as it gets closer to finalizing the design, we’ll go leave it onto the Objet 30.

To understand more of the process both MakerBot and Stratasys see happening with their 3D printing customers, check out the video below regarding Robert Welch and how they use both MakerBot and Stratasys 3D Printers. Do you think this sales program is a good idea? Discuss in the Stratasys & MakerBot 3D Printer Sales forum over at 3DPB.com.

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