After relying on resellers to sell its 3D printers in Europe for a while, MakerBot is finally committing to a European presence and opening up an office.
The 3D printer company is opening a new office in Stuttgart, Germany, and is taking over its reseller network in Central and Eastern Europe, it announced today.
As part of this expansion, MakerBot is acquiring some assets from Hafner’s Büro, a long-time German reseller of MakerBot, and its owner and president, Alexander Hafner, will become general manager of MakerBot Europe.
“The creation of a MakerBot Europe office demonstrates MakerBot’s commitment to the European market and helps align our overall business growth strategy in the region. Germany has also long been the European hub for 3D printing as overall interest in 3D printing has grown throughout Europe. We have confidence that the area will continue to grow in dominance in the 3D printing arena,” MakerBot chief revenue officer Frank Alfano said in a statement.
Over the next six months, MakerBot Europe will be working to secure new partnerships with resellers and retailers as well as integrating its existing distributors and resellers into its sales and marketing organizations. MakerBot’s European division will cover Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and some other areas.
MakerBot Europe is the company’s first international outpost, although it has partner resellers and distributors in countries around the world.
Office supply retailer Staples announced in Sept. 2012 that it was launching 3D printing services but only in its European stores, signaling that the European market is a huge opportunity for 3D printing. Other European 3D printing activity includes 3D Hubs, a Dutch company building a network of 3D printer owners backed by Balderton Capital, and Lithuanian company Toyze’s recent announcement that it will enable mobile gamers to 3D print custom versions of their favorite characters.
MakerBot was founded in 2009 and was acquired by Stratasys in June 2013. The company is headquartered in New York City and raised a total of $10 million in funding prior to its acquisition.