We just reported, a week ago the departure of Pinshape founders following the sale of the platform. We were right to think that a 3d printer manufacturer was behind the deal as we just learned that Formlabs, the designer and manufacturer of powerful and accessible 3D printing systems, announced today it has acquired Pinshape. With this move the platform is losing its independence, and joins the rank of marketplace owned by a manufacturer, such as Thingiverse and Youmagine, leaving only a handful of independent players (MyMiniFactory, Cults3D, 3DShook,…)
A bold and uncertain move
It’s unclear to us how 3D designers will react to this move. Considering their passion for openness they might decide to share their creativity elsewhere.
The Apple/iTunes model – a hardware product supported by a digital platform might not yet be the right solution for 3D printing in 2016. Considering 3D printing technologies fast paced evolution, we believe that 3D designers will prefer to share their files on an independent platform unrelated to any specific manufacturer or technology.
Pinshape failure to raise funds led to the deal
Pinshape tried to raise funds in 2015 and during the first months of 2016. At the end of March 2016, the company made its failure to attract any investors public and decided to close the platform. In a last minute deal, Formlabs decided to grab Pinshape assets for an undisclosed amount, that we believe to be under $1M.
Pinshape will operate as a standalone business within Formlabs
From making the top-selling 3D printers in stereolithography to developing the best-in-class 3D printing software, Formlabs also makes a suite of high-performance materials. With Pinshape, Formlabs further sets the new benchmark in professional desktop 3D printing by continuing to broaden its already robust ecosystem of 3D printing offerings.
“We’re proud to welcome Pinshape to Formlabs,” said Max Lobovsky, co-founder and CEO of Formlabs. “Pinshape is a company that shares the same passion and drive as Formlabs in making sophisticated 3D printing technology widely accessible. Pinshape is one of the fastest growing 3D design marketplaces, and Formlabs wants to make sure Pinshape stays that way. Formlabs is building the biggest desktop 3D printing company in the world, and we want to grow the collaboration part of the ecosystem to the same level.”
“Pinshape has grown to be one of the largest and most respected 3D design marketplaces online, and we owe this success to our community of talented designers and makers,” said Lucas Matheson, co-founder and CEO of Pinshape. “We’re thrilled that Pinshape is joining Formlabs and excited for our community. The Formlabs team is amazing; they’re building some of the best-in-class technologies in 3D printing and continue to break new ground in the industry.”
“3D printing is greater than just Formlabs,” said Dávid Lakatos, head of product at Formlabs. “By connecting Pinshape’s thriving community and rich hub of 3D content to Formlabs’ tools of innovation and resources, we help fantastic designs find form. As 3D printing demand continues unabated among professionals and prosumers, we’re excited about joining forces with Pinshape to extend our reach in the market and ecosystem.”
Pinshape will operate as a standalone business within Formlabs.