voxeljet Acquires 3D Printed Movie Prop Maker Propshop (Model Makers) Limited

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vox1Earlier this week, we were just touching on the ever growing importance of 3D scanning and printing technology when it comes to the film production industry. Just a few days ago, it was revealed that a London-based company called Propshop had contributed quite the impressive prop for Disney’s latest movie, ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. In that movie, the car which Agent Napoleon drove, was actually 3D printed by Propshop. 3D printing allows for the fabrication of pretty much any small to mid-sized prop necessary, within hours instead of weeks or even months.

Early this morning, it was announced that voxeljet AG (NYSE:VJET), the German-based 3D printer manufacturer, apparently is also getting into the movie prop production business. The company has acquired all outstanding shares of Propshop (Model Makers) Limited (“Propshop”).vox6

As a result of this acquisition, Propshop will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of voxeljet, and be known from here on out as voxeljet UK. The new subsidiary will continue its support of the entertainment industry, as well as also expanding their services to the consumer market of 3D printing.

The founder and CEO of Propshop, James Enright, will take on the position of Managing Director of voxeljet UK and Vice President for Consumer Markets. He will be reporting directly to the board of voxeljet.

“I am excited to be working with voxeljet and about the opportunities presented by industrial 3D printing techniques and capabilities in developing consumer products,” stated Enright. “Propshop has a vast archive of digital content, which can now be transformed into collectibles and art objects, effectively supplying the expanding market for this type of product.”

One of Propshop's works

One of Propshop’s works

It will certainly be interesting to see how the content owned by Propshop is utilized by the German company, as well as just how Propshop’s services are integrated into the consumer market.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Propshop and are impressed with the business James and his team have developed over the years,” remarked Dr. Ingo Ederer, Chief Executive Officer of voxeljet. “Propshop’s innovation, creativity, and advanced experience with our 3D printing technology has made it a leading provider of sophisticated and complex content to the entertainment industry. These attributes and award-winning capabilities have presented Propshop with several new and very exciting consumer-related opportunities in the on-demand parts services market uniquely suited for large scale 3D printing production. Combining the expertise of both companies in this regard is an attractive arrangement. We are very happy to welcome Propshop into the voxeljet family.”

Founded in 2002, Propshop has an extensive history within the film industry.  They have worked on films such as Zero Dark Thirty (2013), Skyfall (2013) and The Dark Knight Rises (2013).

Other 3D printer manufacturers like MakerBot have extensive libraries of both free and paid 3D models for consumers to download and print. Will some of the props and designs which Propshop has produced over the years become available to the general public? I guess we will have to wait and find out.

The terms of the acquisition have not been released, and will likely remain undisclosed. Let’s hear your thoughts on this acquisition in the voxeljet/Propshop forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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