MakerBot, a manufacturer of 3D desktop printers, is expanding its international operations with the launch of a European subsidiary, formed via the acquisition of one of its German-based resellers.
Announced today, the move is a major step in MakerBot's strategy to expand in the 3D printing market internationally. While the European market has always been a key one for MakerBot, it has traditionally focused its sales and marketing efforts in the US before now, the firm said.
The creation of MakerBot Europe has seen the firm acquire certain assets of its German reseller partner Hafner's Büro. The new organisation will be led by Hafner's Büro founder Alexander Hafner as general manager, and will continue to manage the large network of MakerBot resellers throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
In a statement announcing the new subsidiary, MakerBot president Jenny Lawton said: "We are so excited to officially launch MakerBot Europe and expand MakerBot's global reach with the creation of MakerBot Europe."
The move reflects a growing interest in 3D printing in both the business and education markets, as well as among hobbyists and enthusiasts. In order to address this interest, the prices of 3D printers have come down dramatically in the past few years.
Last year, Maplin Electronics became the first UK retailer to start selling 3D printers, offering the Velleman K8200 model for £699.99. Earlier this month, RS Components showed off the range of 3D printers it has on sale, including the RepRapPro and several Cube models from 3D Systems.
MakerBot itself announced its latest 3D printer in June, in the shape of the MakerBot Replicator Z18, a larger model aimed at the professional market and priced at $6,499 (£3,856).
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