Firm aims to sell million 3D printers

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - Page 13

XYZ Printing Inc (三緯), the 3D printer manufacturing arm of local electronics conglomerate New Kinpo Group (新金寶集團), yesterday set an ambitious goal of selling 1 million 3D printers globally within the next three years, targeting the consumer segment.

New Kinpo makes printers for Hewlett-Packard Co, Samsung Electronics Co and other big names. The group also makes calculators, smart watches and smart meters among a wide range of electronic devices.

“In the next five years, a large portion of products for daily use will be made by 3D printers,” XYZ Printing chairman Simon Shen (沈軾榮) said at the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City (新北市).

Shen doubles as president of Kinpo Electronics Inc (金寶), one of New Kinpo’s subsidiaries. Kinpo Electronics has a 50 percent stake in XYZ Printing, while the group’s Cal-Comp Electronics (Thailand) PCL (泰金寶) owns the remaining half.

XYZ Printing will launch a pre-order sale of its first 3D printer on its Web site at a cost of NT$15,000 (US$500) per unit before the machine hits Vibo Telecom Inc’s (威寶電信) shelves in December. Vibo, a 3G telecom, is also a unit of New Kinpo.

The retail price is much lower than the US$15,000 minimum cost for a 3D printer from major US brands.

Market researcher Gartner Inc forecast earlier this year that the price of enterprise 3D printers is expected to drop to US$2,000 per unit by 2016.

“We want to offer an affordable model to boost adoption rates,” Shen said.

The company plans to roll out middle and high-end 3D printers next year, offering more colors and diverse materials.

XYZ Printing is targeting the consumer market by offering user-friendly machines to make plastic products.

The global 3D printing industry is expected to make US$11.4 billion in revenue this year, up 28 percent from last year’s US$8.9 billion, local market research house Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (光電科技工業協進會) said.

“This is an another form of dream factory,” New Kinpo chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) said. “Specially designed products will be made in offices, or living rooms [in the future], rather than in [large-scale] factories.”

XYZ Printing, established this year with an initial capital of US$20 million, said it is making 3D printers using its own technologies and patents. It has about 30 new patents under approval.