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Konica Minolta Enters 3D Printing Business By Partnering With 3D Systems

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konica-minoltaAdditive manufacturing pioneer 3D Systems Inc. and Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. inked a distribution deal on Thursday. Through the agreement, Konica Minolta will distribute 3D System’s products to its network of dealers and resellers.

The partnership will allow 3D Systems to have greater visibility and distribution in corporate environments where Konica Minolta has a foothold.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with an established and experienced partner like Konica Minolta U.S.A and access their nationwide network to accelerate 3D printing adoption,” said Michele Marchesan 3D System’s chief opportunity officer. “Our ability to attract world class organizations like Konica Minolta sets us apart from competitors and provides a unique opportunity to serve a wider range of customers, maintain closer relationships with them and gain insights into how to better meet their needs.”

Konica Minolta benefits from this deal, as the company will become the first manufacturer to sell, support and service 3D printing products through the traditional printer and office equipment channels in the United States. The partnership also allows the company to enter the 3D printing market without having to create its own 3D products, while still having a way to provide its customer base with additive manufacturing solutions.

“Our goal is to arm our nationwide, exceptional sales organization with the cutting-edge products and services they need to grow their businesses and gain a competitive edge,” said Kevin Kern the senior vice president of marketing. “By teaming up with 3D Systems, the recognized industry leader, and offering the most comprehensive suite of 3D printers materials and services, we’re able to do just that.”

Konica Minolta will focus on offering 3D Systems’ product line to customers in high-growth industries such as manufacturing, industrial, health care and education. According to Konica Minolta, some of the 3D Systems products they will offer include the ProJet(R) 3500 Series and the ProJet(R) 660. The ProJet(R) 3500 Series Professional 3D Printer is ideal for engineering, manufacturing and mechanical environments, while the The ProJet 660 targets consumer products, healthcare, education and other vertical market customers.

This deal follows fellow 3D printing company MakerBot’s recent collaboration with distributor, Tech Data. Both this deal and Makerbot’s will strengthen each company’s U.S. sales.  Makerbot’s deal with Tech Data was targeted towards the consumer market for 3D printers, while this Konica Minolta and 3D Systems partnership targets more of the manufacturing market. Discuss this story at the 3DPB.com forum thread for the Konica Minolta, 3DS partnership.

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