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Jeppe Frandsen

Jeppe Frandsen

It’s always reaffirming when a large, well known corporation decides to enter a relatively new market. Back in October, printing and electronics hardware company, Hewlett Packard, announced that they would be releasing a new 3D printing technology in 2016. Many within the industry saw this as a clue that 3D printing is really beginning to grab hold as a mainstream technology.

Today comes news that Canon (NASDAQ:ADR) also wants a piece of the pie. Canon Europe, today has announced that they have reached a distribution agreement with 3D printing powerhouse 3D Systems (NASDAQ:DDD), in order to market, support, and sell the company’s 3D printers in the UK and Ireland.

Canon will now be selling 3D printers such as the ProJet 1200, 3500 series, 4500, 6000 and 7000, initially in these regions, but with their sights set on expanding across more of Europe in the near future.

Back in March of 2014, Canon Marketing Japan agreed to a similar deal in which they received distribution rights in Japan for 3D Systems’ machines. Canon is known for their excellent customer support, and they have been in the 2-dimensional desktop 3D printer space for several decades. Back in 1985, they introduced the world’s first inkjet printer, and have since gone on to become one of the most recognized names within the printer, camera, and photocopier markets.

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“At Canon we’re continually assessing new market opportunities where we believe we can make a difference to our customers,” explained Jeppe Frandsen, Head of Production Printing Group, Canon Europe. “It’s clear that, because of the potential business benefits it can deliver, 3D printing is one such opportunity. Not only does this add to an extensive technology portfolio that few can match, but we also believe we can deliver an exceptional sales and service experience to fully support our customers in this innovative and dynamic area of the market.”

canon1With predictions coming in from all around the world, that the 3D printing market will only continue to grow in the coming years, Canon believes that now is a perfect time to reach an agreement with one of the bigger names within the industry. 3D Systems is one of the top two manufacturers of 3D printers in the world, and this agreement should help thrust them even higher on the food chain.

“We are excited to team up with a proven and experienced partner like Canon Europe to expand our distribution across the UK and Ireland,” explained Michele Marchesan, Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, 3D Systems. “Canon is a trusted provider of industry solutions with strong service and support, and we are thrilled to extend our advanced 3D printing technology to a wider range of customers and applications.”

The agreement will go into effect sometime at the beginning of March, with Canon beginning to sell 3D printers from 3D Systems’ portfolio. It should be interesting to see what type of effect this has on sales for 3D Systems, whose stock has taken a hit as of late.  We will also be watching to see if 3D Systems ends up forming more partnerships in the coming year ahead.

“This partnership, together with Canon’s own significant investment in R&D, reflects both our long term commitment to 3D printing and our ongoing dedication to deliver advanced technology and support to our customers to help them improve the performance and profitability of their businesses,” explained Frandsen.

It’s also worth noting that, unlike Hewlett Packard, Canon decided not to try and come up with their own hardware, but rather piggyback a company that has already proven they can build 3D printers for almost 30 years now. What do you think of this deal? Will this help 3D Systems increase sales? Discuss in the Canon / 3D Systems Distribution Deal forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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