3D Printing Reseller MatterHackers Acquires Source Graphics

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Leading 3D printer reseller MatterHackers has acquired 2D and 3D printer reseller Source Graphics. The company aims to expand its printer lineup and consolidate its position in the Southern California 3D printing market, potentially becoming the dominant player in the region. Additionally, the move positions MatterHackers as a key reseller for Formlabs.

“The collaboration between MatterHackers and Formlabs, catalyzed by our acquisition of Source Graphics, represents a shift in the 3D printing landscape. Formlabs has consistently been at the forefront of 3D printing innovation, and we are beyond excited to join forces with them. Together, we are committed to expanding the reach and capabilities of 3D printing technology, empowering creators and innovators to bring their visions to life,” said MatterHackers COO, Kevin Pope.

“This partnership with MatterHackers is another step towards Formlabs’ mission to enable anyone to bring their ideas to life. MatterHackers has established a strong and trustworthy position in the United States as a provider of 3D printing solutions to a variety of market segments, and we look forward to continuing to gain market share with our SLA and SLS technologies through their reach,” said Daniela Hodgkins, Formlabs Channel Sales Director.

¨we at MatterHackers are genuinely thrilled to integrate Formlabs’ groundbreaking technology into our offerings. Their reputation for innovation in 3D printing aligns perfectly with our mission to deliver the best to our community. It’s an exciting development for us and our audience alike. We are eager to see the incredible advancements and creative projects that will emerge from this partnership,” said MatterHackers CTO Dave Gaylord.

The Form 3+. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

In a 3DPOD episode, we showcased MatterHackers’ journey from selling inexpensive desktop 3D printers to offering more advanced systems and increasing their service work. The company has navigated a tumultuous period for 3D printing resellers. Initially optimistic about the industry’s growth, resellers faced challenges as growth plateaued. Many large firms began handling accounts directly, making it difficult for resellers to find and sell to new customers.

At the same time, inexpensive printers, which became more capable, were sold directly to consumers and companies. Truly high-end systems, costing $350,000 and more, were often just beyond their reach. Resellers also needed to invest in training, take on more maintenance tasks, and offer a deeper, more comprehensive range of services. Additionally, Prusa’s entry into the market with excellent, low-priced filament added to their challenges. Over the past few years, many resellers have gone out of business, starting with those merely moving boxes and including some truly terrible companies. However, the trend became more concerning as some truly excellent companies also ceased operations. Those who have survived and thrived in the current market have had to adapt quickly.

The current opportunities in reselling center on becoming a comprehensive 3D printing partner, capable of meeting all material and printer needs. High-margin recurring revenues are available in materials and service contracts. It’s surprising how few companies offer service contracts that include rapid printer replacement, for example. This approach appears to be where the real financial potential lies. Additionally, more revenue can be generated from consulting—performing design work, implementing complete solutions, or helping develop custom materials and offerings can be highly profitable if managed correctly.

Significant clients now include not only large corporations but also surprisingly large smaller firms with multiple sites and government entities. Transitioning from serving hobbyists to entities like the Department of Defense demands considerable innovation, client awareness, and development from a flexible organization. Another promising and enduring source of profit could be offering custom training in safety, operations, design, and industrialization, which is sorely needed and can also be high-margin. Let’s hope that firms that scale and deepen their offerings will now find themselves in a more stable market.

Being a reseller is inherently challenging due to the dependency on original equipment manufacturers. It’s crucial for MatterHackers to secure and maintain a strong relationship with Formlabs, as this could significantly enhance its product offering. However, the firm’s dependency on Formlabs and similar companies will persist. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see whether MatterHackers will expand into powder bed fusion through collaborations with companies like OneClickMetal, which offers more affordable metal machines. Alternatively, they might start selling complete manufacturing solutions from companies like Structo, which provides entire dental printing lines, or opt to resell Chinese systems from firms like Farsoon or BLT. The reseller market has been dynamic and, frankly, a terrifying segment to observe. Let’s hope for a less turbulent future in this market.

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