MakerBot and Stratasys have announced a partnership designed to expand business operations in the Asia Pacific 3D printing market.
Revealed on Tuesday, the deal has resulted in the formation of MakerBot Asia Pacific & Japan (MakerBot APJ), a new division designed to expand the growth of the company by tapping into the lucrative Asian market and current interest in 3D printing by both consumer and business.
Stratasys, a subsidiary of MakerBot's parent company Stratasys Ltd, will support the new division through its already-established presence in the region.
MakerBot APJ will be led by Shiry Saar, who has now been appointed General Manager and will be based in Stratasys' Hong Kong headquarters, operating under Stratasys.
Saar said both Stratasys and MakerBot "cater to the education and professional verticals," and, therefore, the collaboration will give customers a wider product portfolio and more services to choose from.
Stratasys and MakerBot offer a range of 3D printing products, including printers themselves, materials and in the case of the latter, an ecosystem for printing designs.
Stratasys' local teams and 10 regional offices will likely prove valuable starting points for the new MakerBot division. The local offices are based in areas including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul -- key business areas which will now support MakerBot through marketing, sales and customer support.
"Asia is an important market for desktop 3D printing with great opportunities in verticals that are a strategic priority for MakerBot such as education, engineering and design. Stratasys has the local expertise, infrastructure and customer relationships that we believe will help us expand our presence in the region. This is another step in our efforts to take advantage of synergies with Stratasys to grow our business internationally and accelerate the adoption of desktop 3D printing around the world."
MakerBot revealed a range of new products and services at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. The 3D printing firm announced new PLA composite filaments made with wood, metal, and stone, the Smart Extruder which makes swapping out materials in a 3D printer far easier than before, and MakerBot 3D Professional Service. The latter is a consultation-based service designed around schools interested in including 3D printing within their curriculums.