As 3D printing continues to grow, the technology’s footprint is broadening on a global scale. More and more companies are seeing their 3D printing systems spread around the world with new installations, expansions, and partnerships. Recent news out of Dubai (via Italy) and Japan (via Germany) showcases two more 3D printing entities expanding their reach.
3D printer manufacturer Roboze, headquartered in Bari, Italy, has long had expansion on the mind. In the last two years, the company announced expansions into the US, the Balkan Peninsula, Asia and India, the Benelux region, Poland, the EMEA region, and the UK and Ireland. Now Roboze can add a new location to this long list – the United Arab Emirates, or more specifically, Dubai, which knows a little something about 3D printing.
In 2016, Dubai implemented its famous 3D Printing Strategy, which includes a multi-tiered plan focusing on construction, consumer products, and medical products. The plan, set up to ensure that Dubai and the UAE become world leaders in 3D printing, has an ambitious goal – to have 25% of the city-state’s buildings 3D printed by 2030. As the technology continues to evolve, and the market is forecast to reach $300 billion by 2025, this seems manageable. The project is set to start in 2019, beginning at 2% with a gradual increase toward the final goal.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is regulating standards for 3D printing use in the health sector, and is already exploring 3D printed prosthetic limbs and other medical devices. In addition, Dubai is increasing its focus on 3D printed consumer products, and has set a goal of reaching €6 billion on the market by 2025 for producing items like fast food products, household items, jewelry, optics, and children’s games.
Expansion-minded Roboze has now responded to the UAE market, and will use its high-precision, industrial 3D printers to provide cost and time-effective solutions. This week, the company’s founder and CEO Alessio Lorusso is in Dubai to introduce the company’s 3D printing solutions, including the ARGO 500, to the UAE in a series of meetings.
Roboze’s patented Beltless System is part of what makes its offerings so appealing. The system gets rid of the traditional rubber straps, replacing them with a unique movement of the X and Y axes, complete with directly connected helical rack and pinion. This makes the company’s 3D printers some of the most accurate in the whole world.
The company also counts metal replacement, especially in the aerospace and automotive fields, and its versatile materials among its strengths. Its desktop 3D printers can print using high-performance, industrial-strength materials, like PEEK and PEI, which help Roboze, in its own words, “pave the way in the creation of new divisions aimed at leading the medical technology sector.”
By exporting its extrusion-based technology to Dubai, which is rapidly developing its use of 3D printing in multiple sectors, Roboze is seizing an opportunity that just can’t be missed, as the UAE’s growing market is quickly becoming a stepping stone to a brighter future.
Another well-known company that’s focused on expansion is 3D printing specialist FIT AG, which is headquartered in Germany and has subsidiaries in Romania and the US, and began a joint venture in Russia in the fall.
This week, the company announced that it’s entered the 3D printing market in Japan by setting up a new fully owned subsidiary, called FIT Japan K.K. The company completed an analysis of the Japanese 3D printing and service market to confirm that a shift in the country’s business needs and manufacturing strategies was occurring, which meant that more substitution of prototypes with final tools and parts was needed.
Japan boasts many opportunities in the 3D printing industry. This growth comes from growing demand from multiple end-use applications, like the architecture, automotive, and healthcare industries. So the strategic decision for FIT AG to reach out to the Japanese market makes sense.
[Image: FIT AG]
“Step by step, we will evolve from a foreign contract manufacturer to an insider in the Japanese innovation system,” said Carl Fruth, CEO at FIT Additive Manufacturing Group. “To this goal, we have established a Japanese subsidiary to serve as a direct interface for our ADM services to the market and to introduce us to important Japanese customers. Starting from a position as a global technology leader, we intend to open up the Japanese as well as the Asian markets and to consolidate business in the long run.”
FIT AG specializes in volume manufacturing of 3D printed parts, and developed an approach called ADM, Additive Design and Manufacturing. The company offers a comprehensive service, which includes both additive design and engineering in the pre-production project phase, multiple technologies for production, and post-processing and quality assurance.
“When learning about FIT AG and its ADM concept for the first time, I was immediately intrigued by its potential. I’m overjoyed to empower Japanese companies with FIT’s expertise,” said Yasushi Murata, FIT AG’s assigned leader in Japan. “I’m not exaggerating… I’m convinced that FIT AG can act as a game-changer for the Japanese productive industry of today.”
One advantage of FIT AG’s move to Japan is that, while the name FIT Japan K.K. may be new to the market, the company is not unknown in the country, as it already counts several Japanese companies as customers.
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