When it comes to simplicity and ease, it’s hard to beat AIO Robotics. Using their Zeus 3D printer is as easy as plugging it in and pressing a button, which has made it an obvious favorite of schools, libraries, and consumers who want to avail themselves of 3D printing for prototyping or other purposes but don’t necessarily have the time or expertise for high-maintenance precision machines. The Los Angeles-based AIO Robotics launched their flagship printer a couple years ago after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and has since spread across the globe with resellers all over the US and in Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe.
One market the company hasn’t significantly tapped thus far has been China, but that should soon be changing thanks to a partnership with Shenyang Machine Tool Co, Ltd (SMTCL). The Chinese company is the largest machine and tool manufacturer in the world, but they haven’t ventured into 3D printing until now, though they are a champion of technologically advanced manufacturing. In 2014, SMTCL introduced the i5, an intelligent CNC control and “Smart Factory” platform, which has accounted for a significant portion of the company’s business.
“As a champion of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, we are excited to include additive manufacturing in our product portfolio,” said Andrew Heath, SMTCL’s International Business General Manager. “The Zeus’ holistic approach is very similar to our growing i5 ecosystem. China is ready for a true pro-sumer 3d printing platform and the Zeus is outstanding.”
In addition to being an easy-to-use 3D printer, the Zeus is also a 3D scanner, copier and fax machine, and recently AIO Robotics further enhanced the machine’s capabilities by integrating it directly with the MyMiniFactory printing platform. Users can now access the site’s expansive 3D model library and download and print files directly from their printers with the push of a button, making the Zeus even more ideal for educational settings. The classroom-friendly attributes of the printer are certainly a big selling point for the community-focused SMTCL, which shares many of AIO’s future-thinking values.
“Our goal is to prepare the next generation of China’s workforce for the manufacturing industry of the future. We are very impressed with SMTCL, and their vision aligns well with ours,” said Jens Windau, CEO of AIO Robotics. “The partnership with SMTCL expands our presence in the Asian market, and offers opportunities for co-development and collaboration going forward.”
AIO Robotics COO Lucas Lok agrees:
“SMTCL has a strong network of the best sales and service professionals locally in China and worldwide. We’re confident SMTCL will provide excellent service and resources for customers. The Zeus is used for education, and rapid prototyping of objects that eventually become manufactured into end products, so the partnership is a natural fit, streamlining the process from idea to end product.”
SMTCL is the fourth Asian reseller to pick up the Zeus, joining Taiwan’s Smartec Scientific Corp, Japan’s Santec, and the also-China-based Trustworthy Technology Co. What are your thoughts on the amount of expansion taking place in the 3D printing industry? Let’s discuss this more specifically in the AIO Robotics Expansion forum over at 3DPB.com.