The way Simha explains it, the Objet PolyJet printers are optimal for use in earlier stage product design, giving engineers and their supply chain partners a cost-effective and fast way to visualize products and have more flexibility in terms of exploring shapes.
The Stratasys FDM technology, on the other hand, is better suited for use later in the development process, when engineers don't care as much about what the prototype part looks like, but rather are more interested in testing the functionality of a part. "There's a small overlap between products, if at all," Simha said.
Because of that, Simha doesn't see either company changing their technology roadmap anytime soon as a result of the merger, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. What will change, however, is the combined company's distribution and marketing channels.
Much of the impetus for the merger is to expand the sales and marketing reach, creating a channel with approximately 280 partners that can sell both companies' full product lines. The expanded channel will not only offer enhanced opportunities for cross-selling into the combined company's installed base, but it also opens up the ability to expand to new markets.
Of course, there has been a lot of emphasis on the 3D printing market as of late with price points coming down and with a growing focus on the low-end consumer market. 3D Systems, another big player in this space, also merged this year with Zcorp, and that combined entity is making a concerted push into the consumer-oriented and office-oriented 3D printer space.