For LulzBot devotees living in Australia, supporting their habit has been expensive. Shipping from the United States to Australia is not cheap, but that hasn’t stopped fans of the versatile, open-source 3D printer from shelling out thousands of dollars for it. Now, however, they can keep their bank accounts a little bit more well-padded. Aleph Objects, parent company of LulzBot, has announced that they are opening a new fulfillment center in Sydney, Australia. Not only that, but orders of the company’s printers, parts or materials over $50 will receive free shipping. (That’s in US dollars, equating to about $70 Australian.)
“The Australian market is strategically important in the rapidly growing desktop 3D printing industry,” said Harris Kenny, Vice President of Marketing at Aleph Objects. “Offering free shipping in Australia through this new fulfillment center reflects our commitment to both serving our customers in the country and expanding access to the award-winning LulzBot 3D printer platform.”
According to Kenny, Australia is the home of the company’s fourth-largest customer base, after the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, where their existing distribution centers are. That’s impressive considering the cost of shipping to Australia, so one can only imagine how sales will skyrocket Down Under now that the extra cost is no longer an issue.
“One challenge that limits sales in Australia is shipping costs,” Kenny said. “Fortunately, this new fulfillment center addresses that concern and puts us in a strong position to serve both existing customers and new ones.”
The new distribution center will not be staffed by full-time Aleph Objects employees, instead relying on a third-party logistics company. Aleph Objects does intend to expand their sales and marketing efforts in Australia this year, however. The company is flying high going into 2016; their sales tripled in 2015 and shattered records with an incredible $15 million in revenue. They also expanded to a new 17,000-square-foot space in their Loveland, Colorado headquarters last year.
LulzBot has become so popular largely because they eschew many of the ultra-capitalist principles that make so many other corporations rich. Describing themselves as “built upon the philosophy of freedom,” they keep all of their hardware and software open and free to be modified and copied by whoever wishes. It seems like a philosophy that could bankrupt a company – if your customers can freely print new printers and modify them to make them even better, then how do you still pull in revenue? Clearly, it hasn’t been a problem for LulzBot, which carries a large assortment of filaments plus toolheads and other parts for upgrading printers – it seems that the respect they have for their customers’ self-reliance and ingenuity is exactly what inspires so much loyalty. Discuss these new developments in the Aleph Objects 3D Printing Sydney forum over at 3DPB.com.