Prodways ends sale of jewelry 3D printers amid strategic refocus

French 3D printer manufacturer and service provider Prodways Group (PWG) has discontinued sales of its small wax and resin 3D printers for the jewelry market. The company will now reallocate resources towards high-volume, industrial 3D printers which reportedly possess high added value.  

This strategic decision comes after Prodways’ jewelry 3D printers, sold under its Solidscape brand, performed poorly in 2023. These 3D printers reportedly experienced weak sales, poor turnover, and “significant operating loss.”    

It is hoped that this move, which reflects the company’s “growth and profitability strategy,” will improve its financial results and strengthen its position within the global additive manufacturing market. 

According to Prodways, ceasing Solidscape activity will have a positive structural impact on Prodways’ profitability and financial results. In Q3 2023, Prodways recorded revenues of €15.9 million, a 7.6% decrease YoY from €21.5 million in Q3 2022. This represented a 26% quarterly decline from €21.5 million in Q2 2023.   

The shutdown of jewelry 3D printing activity is expected to be finalized by the end of summer 2024. The impact on 2023 financial statements is estimated to be around €15 million in depreciation (non-cash impact). 2024 related costs are expected to represent just over €1 million, primarily in the first half of the year.

Prodways will publish its full-year 2023 financial results on 14 February 2024. This will provide details on the company’s other business activities and its financial outlook for the year ahead.   

Solidscape S3Duo 3D printer. Image via Solidscape.
Solidscape S3Duo 3D printer. Image via Solidscape.

Prodways discontinues jewelry 3D printers

Since acquiring Solidscape in 2018, Prodways has launched a range of 3D printers for the production of castable wax and resin jewelry models. Optimized for castable precious metals such as gold and platinum, these include the company’s S3Duo, S325, S325+, and MUSE models.

The sale of these desktop jewelry 3D printers, which are valued at around €15,000, and associated materials and services, generated turnover of €5 million in 2023 and a “significant operating loss.” 

Despite continued growth in the jewelry 3D printer market, the weak 2023 performance has led Prodways to explore new approaches to increase the sustainability of the Solidscape brand. As such, the company has discontinued its jewelry products, shifting focus to its “high value-added” 3D printers and materials, including the MovingLight range.

Prodways’ MovingLight DLP 3D printers are optimized for the production of personalized dental and medical devices, as well as end-use industrial mold and casting applications. According to Prodways, these 3D printers are notable for their speed, accuracy, and wavelength options. The company also offers a range of dismountable and interchangeable build platforms. These options enable users to customize their resin 3D printer to their specific use-case.      

According to Prodways, growth within this segment is easier to activate and generates higher profitability. The company’s strong position within existing markets, such as the medical sector, will reportedly enable it to generate opportunities in new industrial applications, such as aeronautics.

The ProMaker L6000 D MOVINGLight DLP 3D printer from Prodways. Image via Prodways
ProMaker L6000 D MovingLight DLP 3D printer from Prodways. Image via Prodways.

Jewelry 3D printing: a growing market?

Despite Prodways’ decision to discontinue its jewelry offering, the jewelry 3D printing sector continues to expand. Indeed, a number of industrial-scale 3D printing companies have launched new jewelry 3D printers, tapping into the growing jewelry market which is expected to exceed $22 billion by 2030. 

Israeli 3D printer manufacturer XJet recently announced a collaboration with XOLUTIONS, a supplier to the high-end fashion market. This partnership has seen XOLUTIONS acquire an XJet Carmel 1400M metal 3D printer to fabricate metal luxury fashion accessories, including 3D printed jewelry. XOLUTIONS offers alloys and master alloys for jewelry production through its Progold S.p.A subsidiary.

“XJet technology fits the needs of the luxury market perfectly,” commented Progold CEO Damiano Zito. “The surface finish and the resolution – crucial for this market – that is achieved by NanoParticle Jetting is a step change above what any other AM technology can deliver.” 

In October 2023, US-based 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems launched its latest jewelry 3D printing products, the MJP 300W 3D printer and VisiJet Wax Jewel Ruby material. By combining these two offerings, 3D Systems claims that wax jewelry pattern producers can efficiently achieve greater design freedom and improved surface finish. 

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Featured image shows a closeup of a Prodways 3D printer. Photo via Prodways.