After acquiring Harvest Technologies and Solid Concepts last year, 3D printing industry leader Stratasys had joined all of its rapid prototyping and manufacturing subsidiaries – including RedEye On Demand – under one division: Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. A spokesperson from Harvest Technologies says of the news, “We’ve been working diligently to bring these companies together with RedEye to form the leading custom manufacturing service provider in North America. We are proud to come together as Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, and we look forward to what we’ll be able to accomplish together!“
While its consumer wing, MakerBot Industries, draws visitors at CES, the company quietly launched Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, officially marking the shift of 3D printing from a prototyping technology to an end-product manufacturing technology. As they explain on their new Direct Manufacturing website, “When Stratasys merged the three leading 3D printing service bureaus into one, we cemented ourselves as a powerful technology leader, encouraging designers and engineers to challenge conventional approaches to manufacturing. Additive manufacturing allows for new approaches to design—something our team of engineers has spent a combined five decades perfecting.”
Stratasys’ 3D printing will still be used for prototyping, but the consolidation represents 3D printing’s ability to produce end products more and more. The website lists their huge array of manufacturing technologies, from Stratasys’ own FDM and PolyJet to Direct Metal Laser Sintering, SLA, Zcorp ColorJet, CNC, tooling, and molding. With nine manufacturing facilities through the US, consisting of 700 employees, and industry standard certifications – ISO 9001, AS9100, and ITAR – Stratasys Direct Manufacturing means that the company wishes to no longer be seen as a player in the world of 3D printing, but in the world of global manufacturing.
News from last year and this year has meant that GE, Autodesk, HP, and Intel may all now be considered major players in the 3D printing industry. And, as Stratasys and 3D Systems prepare to enter the big leagues, it’s become clear that 3D printing is now in full-puberty mode.