The desktop 3D printing industry is now in full-on expansion mode, with every manufacturer from MakerBot to Ultimaker to Leapfrog bringing their brands to multiple continents. Most of these companies, however, are FFF/FDM-focused, however. Today, Formlabs, has announced that it is taking its desktop SLA printer, the Form 1+, overseas to China, a huge step for the start-up.
While globalization has typically seen Chinese products imported into the US, today’s world is very different and China’s middle class and tech sector are ripe markets for manufacturers local and foreign. Through a strategic partnership with Chinese tech distributor Xi’an Elite Robotics Co. Ltd., Formlabs is prime to take advantage of these markets. Xi’an Elite Robotics is the first Chinese distributor for the Cambridge-based company and will be able to handle all technical support for Form 1+ customers in the country.
Formlabs Operations Lead, Luke Winston, comments on the deal, “With Xi’an Elite Robotics, our local partner in the region, we are thrilled to offer our Chinese customers the Formlabs’ experience that our customers have come to love.” Formlabs’ co-founder, Max Lobovsky, adds, “China is an exciting market for us. We’re looking forward to what designers and engineers in China will create with the Form 1+ 3D printer.”
The stereolithography printer brings a unique offering to the desktop 3D printing market in China. With the ability to 3D print high resolution objects, the Form 1+ is ideal for detailed models and has a great deal of potential for the jewelry, medical, and engineering markets. While there are a number of manufacturers of industrial SLA 3D printers and many FFF printers produced in the country, this is, as far as I know, the first low-cost SLA printer to be sold there, though Taiwan’s XYZprinting has very recently released the Nobel 1.0. Therefore, Wang Hui, the founder of Elite Robotics, is appropriate in saying, “The Form 1+ is a breakthrough product in the digital fabrication landscape. We are proud to be the first official distributor of Formlabs’ 3D printing technology in China, and bring this award-winning 3D printer to Chinese consumers.”