Prusa buys 3D printer vendor Print Solid to expand US footprint TechCrunch

There’s a lot going on in the world of desktop 3D printers – that’s not a sentence I thought I’d write soon. Days after MakerBot and Ultimaker announced merger plans, one of the company’s most valued competitors is taking its own steps. Prague-based Prusa Research acquires Printed Solid Inc. about, a Delaware-based 3D printer reseller.

Founded in 2011, Prusa shares some DNA with MakerBot and Ultimaker, as an outgrowth of the open source RepRap project. The company’s i3 system has become one of the leading FDM-based desktop 3D printers, thanks to its low cost, small footprint and easy modification/repairability.

Meanwhile, Print Solid was founded in 2013 as a retailer for 3D printing materials and parts. Three years later, the company made its own acquisition – Ranlaser – and has since started making and selling its own printer safety enclosures.

Buying the reseller gives Prusa a channel to expand sales to the US. The manufacturer’s product sales are largely limited to corporate, government, and educational customers in the United States. This move will further expand that footprint to more consumer sales. MakerBot and Ultimaker also cited expanded sales channels as a key driver in their decision to merge last week.

To print solid notes in a blog post:

By the fourth quarter of 2022, Printed Solid Inc. acquire more storage, operational space and personnel dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the industry-recognized quality and reputation of Prusa Research and providing US-based in- and out-of-warranty repairs and services, including parts fulfillment for Prusa Research. Helps reduce the burden of international shipping and reduce response times for customer repairs and replacements.

The Print Solid brand continues under the new parent company, with David Randolph as CEO.

†[Randolph’s] great team will help to improve the availability of genuine Prusa 3D printers, parts, accessories and services beyond the ‘big pond’,” founder Josef Prusa said in a message. “We have already started with business, government and education. In the near future, we would like to provide 3D printer maintenance services to all customers in the US. Please, everyone, be patient. We have completed the acquisition and the first round of training, but it will take time to get everything back on track so that the team can continue the same task as in our headquarters.”

It’s been an unusually busy few weeks for the desktop 3D printing world, which is now several years past its first hype bubble. Still, it’s nice to see some movement in space.

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