Acting as one of the world’s pillars of information and knowledge on 3D printing technology, the 3D Printing Association is constantly working towards increasing awareness around, and the utilization of, 3D printing in our daily lives. With an already lengthy list of members from all facets of the industry, the 3DPA is now extending membership to the outsiders trying to get their foot into the 3D printing door. The newest members of the association include the internationally recognized camera producers Canon Europe and office equipment manufacturers Ricoh, two big-name companies who are each taking a respectable swing at producing viable 3D printers.
Although Canon Europe has been a partner of 3D Systems for awhile now, their real breakthrough into the 3D printing industry came after the announcement of a Canon resin-based 3D printer last month. The 3DPA can further provide the camera company with an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the field and also become a crucial member within a renowned 3D printing network.
“By joining the association Canon Europe demonstrates its commitment to the industry and we look forward to working with them and all our members to improve understanding of the technology, help with awareness and education and influence the regulatory environment,” says 3DPA’s membership director Ian Ferguson.
Ricoh’s 3D printing endeavors involves an industrial-grade SLS 3D printer, which was announced by the office equipment manufacturer last month, as well. The RICOH AM S5500P industrial 3D printer will be unveiled at the Frankfurt-based formnext next week, but Ricoh is wasting no time dipping their feet into this vast 3D printing network. Already having partnered with fellow 3DPA member Leapfrog, Ricoh’s membership is evidence that the company is diving headfirst into the 3D printing market. “Ricoh has signaled a clear desire to be active in supporting our efforts to act as the voice, globally for the 3D and AM industry and I look forward to working with them and all our members to improve understanding of the technology,” Ferguson said about Ricoh joining the 3DPA.
The biggest implication attached to these two new members of the 3DPA is that 3D printing technology is really breaking out of its niche shell and attracting major companies with less experience in this particular field. But what companies such as Canon and Ricoh do in fact have are an abundance of resources and capital to invest into improving this technology. Joining the 3DPA will provide the one thing these companies can not provide themselves, which is a knowledgeable 3D printing network.