Because competition with Chinese manufacturing and the never-ending challenge to get out from under their thumb is a big topic regarding the advent of 3D printing and what its effect will be, it’s with great interest that we watch many US companies settle into China offering their 3D printing wares for sale, as well as entering into substantial distribution agreements.
If anyone was truly worried about China getting the leg up on us even further in manufacturing, we’ve certainly not been hindering them by any means, putting 3D printing technology and equipment up for sale to the highest and most well-connected bidders, with some of the 3D printing industry giants even setting up shop—and headquarters—there.
We’ve reported on numerous such stories regarding companies like Stratasys, Formlabs, and other international companies like the UK’s LPW Technology Ltd. With so many Chinese companies that are well-connected with industry giants entrenched in the country, it can often be a great way for a foreign 3D printing company to get an ‘in’ and not only set up a new international revenue source, but it can also be a helpful way to continue to integrate and expand smaller subsidiaries already functioning within China.
Today, announcements from 3D Systems are alerting us that it’s time to make way for 3D Systems China. As they expand their 3D printing presence in China, 3DS has purchased Easyway Design and Manufacture Co. of China, with operations in:
The new entity, 3D Systems China, will be directed by the founder and general manager of Easyway, May Zhou.
“We are excited to become part of 3D Systems, a leading provider of the most complete portfolio of 3D digital design and fabrication solutions available today,” said Zhou. “We plan to leverage our collective knowledge and experience for the benefit of our customers by building a stronger local presence and immediately delivering the full range of 3DS products throughout China.”
Easyway will allow 3DS greater access into the Chinese market for both 3D printer manufacturing and distribution. They have worked with many industry leaders in China such as those in leading Chinese automotive, medical, and consumer goods like:
- Black & Decker
“We are thrilled to join forces with Easyway and together expand our business in China,” Avi Reichental, President and Chief Executive Officer, 3DS, said of the acquisition. “With operations in key Chinese cities and well-established 3D printing sales and service bureau operations, Easyway represents the cornerstone of our expansion plans for China.”
One of the major goals is to see strengthening and expansion of 3DS’ Quickparts, a division of 3DS offering custom prototyping for 3D printed plastic and metal parts, in low volume. Quickparts also offers production tooling and part options, as well as three different technologies for investment casting patterns.
“We believe that the strong relationship and strategic fit between our companies, combined with Easyway’s on-the-ground infrastructure, coverage and deep customer relationships, could present significant benefits for our customers, sizeable growth opportunities for us and long term value for our shareholders,” Reichental noted.
What do you think of US companies working with Chinese 3D printing manufacturers? Do you think these partnerships will be beneficial overall to the manufacturing industry? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Systems China forum thread over at 3DPB.com.