AMS Spring 2023

Prusa Research Buys Printed Solid

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Prusa Research has just closed the acquisition of its sole US reseller, Printed Solid. For the past eight years, Printed Solid was a distributor of Prusa’s printers. The company’s focus was on US based corporate customers and education. The deal is meant to improve customer service for the US market for the Prague-based maker of open-source 3D printers. The deal will also let Prusa extend its warranty to its US sold printers and let them sell their excellent, Prusament filament in the US directly. Prusa recently disclosed that Prusa Research has sold over 400,000 systems worldwide to date. The company is still privately held.
Josef Prusa said that:
“Printed Solid and its CEO David Randolph have been very popular and well-recognized ín the 3D printing community for a long time. From the first moments of working together we were sure that we are on the right track to move experience for the owners of our printers based in the US to the next level.”
Prusa Research By Josef Prusa booth at Rapid+TCT event in Detroit.

Prusa Research By Josef Prusa booth #1322 at Rapid+TCT event in Detroit. Image courtesy of Molitch-Hou.

Our Editor Michael Molitch-Hou was at the RAPID+TCT event in Detroit, Michigan and spoke to David Randolph, who said,
“I will be running the day to day operations. It’s a good play for them, in my opinion, because there is a huge market in the United States that is just missed because you can’t buy from the Czech Republic if you’re a school or government or a business, and this will let Prusa do more government and education work.”
This move follows the firm’s recent acquisition of Trilab, a more expensive delta printer company. What’s more unexpected is that Printed Solid will continue to resell printers and filaments by other suppliers. I really like Prusa Research as the company makes excellent desktop 3D printers. The design and build quality of the systems is very good, the components are top-notch, and they have the best QA in the business. As a result, the Prusa desktop systems represent great value. I also really love Prusa’s work on print farms and its offering now of complete print farm solutions. In fact, the firm uses its own print farm to produce a lot of its own parts, demonstrating the efficacy of its systems in manufacturing.
3D designer Ganit Goldstein at PrusaLab

3D designer Ganit Goldstein at PrusaLab. Image courtesy of PrusaLab.

I really believe that we’re seeing a development where large industrial systems such as Fortus are being used in regulated markets. Highly productive high temperature or high throughput larger systems will also be in demand for high flow manufacturing. Then there will be shared printers for around $20,000 used by departments. These will have a lot of monitoring and advanced features. Office printers for $10,000 used by corporates will be cheaper versions of those. Also, Pro printers for around $5,000 are to be used by engineers and will be more compact. Then desktop systems for around $2,500 for reliable printing, a segment around $1500 for fully-featured desktop printers, and a segment around $500 for low-cost machines. With this kind of a breakdown, I think you could serve a lot of the world’s customers well. In that breakdown, there is room for printers that will be used for high-volume manufacturing. There will also be room for the Apple Classic printer or the definitive printer for use in indication.
Prusa’s incredible opportunity is to be able to sell its Prusa XL printer, perhaps as a desktop printer for some engineers, to high volume maker customers as well as universities and also print farms for manufacturing. This trick will give them a scale that others can not possibly ever match. If they do this, they’ll be unbeatable. We’ve seen with Prusa’s release of filament that the company is capable of launching excellent extension products, and perhaps they will continue to grow globally in the same vein. It seems ludicrous to most that desktop Prusa Research will challenge Stratasys or even a mid-market brand like Ultimaker. But, that’s not the point; the company can do well building its own market and making its own Professional offering work well for some people on top of its very successful MK3 desktop printers. It will be interesting to see the company´s journey.

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