And, Pinshape is Saved! Formlabs Acquires Popular 3D Model Marketplace, to Operate as Standalone Business
Thankfully, it would seem that recent turbulence and instability—to say the least—is over for Pinshape, as hints that the Canadian-born company may have found a safe haven and a very good new home are proving to be true today. Surely, many around the globe agree that it will be a relief to see the 3D model marketplace and their dedicated team return to their previous status of thriving and ‘full of potential’ rather than enduring the ongoing and dreary discussions of doors shutting forever and sad goodbyes being issued to the world.
Doors will remain open, and hopefully the late spring sunshine streams in through the windows in Canada too, accompanying today’s major announcement that Formlabs is acquiring the online 3D marketplace, headquartered in Vancouver. The news is monumental for Pinshape and their team, who can now pick themselves back up and look forward to a future with their company again, after sadly spinning in limbo for past months.
Almost as if in a 3D printing industry fairytale, Formlabs is gifting them with promise for tomorrow and beyond, planning for the 3D marketplace to operate as a standalone business within the Formlabs dynamic. No financial details have been released regarding the deal, but in referring to their new acquisition as ‘one of the fastest growing 3D printing communities online that hosts a flourishing marketplace of 3D designs,’ it’s obvious that the reset button is being pressed for Pinshape.
We’ve been following this heartrending story of recent, marking quite a downturn in contrast to the many, many upbeat stories we’ve reported on regarding the trendy marketplace. Founded in 2013 by Lucas Matheson, Nick Schwinghamer, and Andre Yanes, the company has been known for bringing a fresh new energy to the 3D printing world, offering challenges, holiday contests, industry data and trends reports, design guides—and even last year representing the maker community in front of Congress, regarding copyright and intellectual property law.
At the end of March, the Pinshape team sent out a farewell message, outlining a few reasons they would be closing, with the ‘free’ aspect within their marketplace receiving a heaping portion of the blame. With a population of users growing close to 100,000 and a healthy amount of daily activity, many were surprised by the news that the 500 Startups-backed company was set to go belly up and bye-bye. Even more surprising though was the optimistic message that went out just a few days later rescinding the farewell statement and hinting toward a possible buyer. Now, that’s solid indeed as they will be under the wing—and more stable finances—of the manufacturer famous for the Form 2 3D printer, and known for their innovations in desktop SLA technology.
“We’re proud to welcome Pinshape to Formlabs,” said Max Lobovsky, co-founder and CEO of Formlabs. “Pinshape is a company that shares the same passion and drive as Formlabs in making sophisticated 3D printing technology widely accessible. Pinshape is one of the fastest growing 3D design marketplaces, and Formlabs wants to make sure Pinshape stays that way. Formlabs is building the biggest desktop 3D printing company in the world, and we want to grow the collaboration part of the ecosystem to the same level.”
From their latest releases to exploring helpful information they offer to users such as jewelry makers, we certainly follow the Somerville, MA headquartered manufacturer continually as well. Sprung from MIT and founded in 2011, this company has built respect in the 3D printing industry, rewarded with stability and ongoing success thanks to their popular 3D printers, software, and high-performance materials. Formlabs foresees this new acquisition, according to their press release on the subject, as one that will allow them to keep expanding their offerings on the 3D printing front overall.
“3D printing is greater than just Formlabs,” said Dávid Lakatos, head of product at Formlabs. “By connecting Pinshape’s thriving community and rich hub of 3D content to Formlabs’ tools of innovations and resources, we help fantastic designs find form. As 3D printing demand continues unabated among professionals and prosumers, we’re excited about joining forces with Pinshape to extend our reach in the market and ecosystem.”
This news should come as a great relief not only to the Pinshape community in general, but also to their bevy of top designers who have been enjoying sharing, marketing, and selling their 3D designs from what has been a very popular marketplace, known for a streamlined and intuitive user interface.
“Pinshape has grown to be one of the largest and most respected 3D design marketplaces online, and we owe this success to our community of talented designers and makers,” said Lucas Matheson, co-founder and CEO of Pinshape. “We’re thrilled that Pinshape is joining Formlabs and excited for our community. The Formlabs team is amazing; they’re building some of the best-in-class technologies in 3D printing and continue to break new ground in the industry.”
For more details about the Pinshape acquisition, see posts from both Formlabs and Pinshape. This certainly seems like a smart catch for Formlabs as they not only rescue a company but also an active community that can now continue to grow—and with the foundation and innovation coming forth continually via Formlabs this team may prove to be quite formidable in the future. It certainly doesn’t hurt to look like the good guys either. Discuss in the Formlabs Purchases Pinshape forum over at 3DPB.com.
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