HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Slideshow: Proto Labs Buys 3D Printing Service Bureau

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/21/2014 12:48:44 PM
NO RATINGS
OMG, Liz, you covered standalone middleware? Wasn't that a weird business?

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Elizabeth M   5/19/2014 5:10:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Ah, yes, I covered tech, too, Ann, and saw a lot of market consolidation in the time I was writing about it. I remember writing about all the software (middleware) being used to run the Web and how it used to be sold separately by different vendors but more and more became part of a larger platform offered by a big company. Some consolidation is inevitable in nearly all markets, I think.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Cabe Atwell   5/17/2014 3:30:21 AM
NO RATINGS
Seems like a great move for Proto Labs, which will now have everything they need under one roof.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/15/2014 2:46:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Liz, with the exception of silicon chips, and some things made with them, many industries follow similar paths assuming other things are equal. I find the history of technology especially interesting. That book intrigued me partly because of what he says, but also because the products he did his classic analysis on, hard drives, were ones I had covered as a reporter during the time of his analysis, just as new tech was disrupting the market.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/15/2014 2:46:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Trenth, thanks for your comments. It's always good to hear from people using the products we write about. I think what will drive prices down is more machines, i.e., competition, and an open materials market.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Elizabeth M   5/15/2014 3:21:29 AM
NO RATINGS
It's really interesting to see how markets follow similar paths, Ann, especially with disruptive technologies that everyone wants a piece of. I will have to check out that book, it sounds really interesting.

Trenth
User Rank
Gold
Re: great business decision
Trenth   5/14/2014 6:40:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Time will tell.   3d printing is another old business model destroying disruptive technology.   It's distributed super low cost manufacturing.  

Stratasys deserve a lot of credit for making it a practical tech, but now, they are trying to keep it a high priced elite tech, buying up little companies that might threaten that model like makerbot, and service bureaus to keep a monopoly on the business.  Ultimately that will fail, but it may buy them another decade. Protolabs is giving them an early run for their money and may drive price down faster.

Our company has a 35k$ Stratasys system, mostly it's been a great investment, though our Stratasys tech took a long time to get it calibrated right.  We also recently bought a makerbot, the first one with open source, and it's rather impressive, but much more difficult to use in production.   





Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2014 12:33:30 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Liz--that's certainly a traditional, and well-proven, interpretation of consolidation in an industry in its early stages, especially one based on a truly disruptive technology like 3D printing. There are some other acquisitions that have occurred recently in this space, as well. (Consolidation in later stages often indicates a downhill slope toward the end of an industry's life, when demand is shrinking.)
BTW, one of the most interesting business books I ever read was by the guy who invented the term "disruptive technology." It's "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen (1997).



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2014 12:20:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Cadman-LT as you point out, buying outside expertise requires a lot of cash. But even if you are Google or Facebook or 3D Systems, it also requires correct business strategy, correctly executed on several fronts.



Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: great business decision
Elizabeth M   5/14/2014 6:28:48 AM
NO RATINGS
It's interesting when consolidation begins in any industry; it's sort of a sign that the industry is evolving from early stages to maturation, I think. This seems like a good decision and reminds me of when technology companies began adding services to their portfolio to become more well-rounded. Indeed, less competition means less options for customers, so there is always a fear that people won't get top service because there's no one to pushing a company to strive for more. But I think it's too early to say this will happen here.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has entered Mars' atmosphere, carrying instruments to help Earthlings figure out what happened to it. Launched last November, the spacecraft arrived at the red planet right on time after a journey of 442 millionmiles.
More bioplastic materials have entered the 3D-printable filament fray. These PLA formulations reinforced with wood or bamboo fibers will debut at the October Composites Europe show in Germany.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
GE Aviation not only plans to use 3D printing to mass-produce metal parts for its LEAP jet engine, but it's also developing a separate technology for 3D-printing metal parts used in its other engines.
Design News Webinar Series
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: October 1 - 30
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service