Web-based 3D-printing service and community Sculpteo has been a major force in fostering the growth of 3D printing in France. As its community has grown well beyond the country’s borders, Sculpteo, whose headquarters is located just outside of Paris, has continued to expand, including opening a workshop in Southern France in Arreau in the Pyrenees region.
Now Sculpteo, which was founded in 2009 by partners Eric Carreel and Clément Moreau, is heading overseas, across the Atlantic and the Continental US to establish a production center–what the company refers to as its “third factory”–in Northern California. It’s a daring move but Sculpteo, whose ascension in Western Europe has been almost meteoric, seems more than capable of dealing with the brisk competition of the US 3D printing market.
To mark the beginning of its US venture and in concert with 3D Print Week California, Sculpteo is hosting an open house on Monday, October 19th at its remarkable new facility in Silicon Valley, “The Gate.” Guests are invited to attend the open house between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., although a sneak preview of the new factory is not possible because, the company explained, “…we work with very large companies [therefore] we will not be able to open our factory to the general public…” Visitors to the open house will, however, be able to view some of the objects being produced at the new California facility.
Sculpteo is using the open house as an opportunity to show the public what they do and to explain what they mean when they talk about “the 3D printing eco-system.” Not only is the company providing an opportunity to mingle with a whole range of attendees, from industry insiders to educators to scientists and technologists, they have also created a Twitter contest and some giveaways (for example, the first 15 guests will receive “an articulated 3D printed mini-robot”) to lure guests for whom the snacks and “local micro-brews” aren’t quite enough in the way of enticement.
See the company’s information for the open house invitation, to RSVP, and to view a video on Sculpteo’s new facility, The Gate, which is situated in a massive, refurbished factory in San Leandro. The Gate is a 24-acre property in Silicon Valley with ground-floor retail and a second floor dedicated to the “art, tech, and maker community.” It’s part of a larger movement to provide work space, equipment, training, and community to makers and DIYers, including the 3D printing community.
Let’s hear your thoughts on Sculpteo’s expansion. Discuss in the Sculpteo forum thread on 3DPB.com.