Davide recently reported news that US-based WhiteClouds had become the largest provider of full-color 3D printing services in the world. And, today at CES, the company announced that it had just purchased 3DplusMe, which, if you’re a regular reader of 3DPI, might realize is a pretty big deal. This gives WhiteClouds a new software solution that allows them to implement 3D-scan-to-print services for customizable, full-color, 3D printed products.
Previously, 3DplusMe has worked with a number of huge names to allow customers to have their faces scanned and placed onto the bodies of famous characters and athletes for 3D printing through their 3D+Heroes™, 3D+Characters™, 3D+Toybox™, and 3D+Gamer™ platforms. For instance, at Sam’s Club stores, individuals were able to 3D print themselves as Iron Man and other Avengers characters, thanks to 3DplusMe’s partnership with Marvel. The firm, which raised $2.73M from investors like Subtraction Capital, 3D Systems, and Deer Valley Ventures, has also used assets from Hasbro, Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), Assassin’s Creed, DreamWorks, and Halo and has had channel partnerships with Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Walmart. This gives WhiteClouds a powerful portfolio of IP and distribution partners with which to implement their massive color 3D printing factory.
Cydni Tetro, CEO of 3DplusMe, said of the deal, “We’re excited to partner with WhiteClouds and become a key part of their success in consumer. We have an aggressive model for growth and partnering with WhiteClouds helps us scale our technology and empower more brands to use 3D-printing to create innovate products and engage their customers.”
WhiteClouds is completely self-funded, though they have “seen significant external venture interest”, according to CEO Jerry Ropelato. This has allowed the company to grow to establish a 60,000-square-foot facility with 30 full-color printers, where they now handle, Ropelato says, “70% of ALL full-color 3D printing production in the world for consumer products.” He goes on to say, “Chances are, if you have ordered or printed a product through a printing provider, we have printed that product.” With a focus on end-products, rather than prototypes, WhiteClouds joined with 3DplusMe with the belief that, together, they could have a complete “end-to-end, scalable solution for mass markets.” With their new 3D-as-a-Service (3DaaS) platform, the company will work with brands and channels bring 3D scanning and printing solutions to a consumer audience.
Ropelato said of the deal in a press release, “3DplusMe has helped the world’s biggest brands create new products that engage customers through their one-of-a-kind technology for 3D capture-to-print. Being able to combine both of our expertise furthers our position as the world’s leading provider for 3D services and technology. Through this combination, we bring the complete solution with our 3DaaS platform for brands and businesses, especially on the entertainment side, where demand is skyrocketing.”
This is big news for the growing Utah company, currently exhibiting at CES. With the powerful portfolio of 3DplusMe, and its 3D scan-to-print platform, WhiteClouds could drive the consumer adoption of 3D printing even farther. Mcor’s new affordable, full-color ARKe 3D printer and XYZprinting’s binder jetting technology will certainly help, too. I mentioned in one post from last year that 2016 will be the year of full-color 3D printing and, after this news, I know that it will be.