Dec 28, 2015 | By Kira
Last week, 3D Systems sent an email out to registered customers of Cubify.com, its consumer 3D printing marketplace, announcing that the closing of Cubify.com and the discontinuation of retail 3D printed products, such as jewelry and phone cases. The email left many wondering just what this sudden exit from the retail consumer marketplace could mean for the 3D printing giant as it enters 2016. Today, the news has been officially confirmed and clarified by the company itself.
In a decisive move away from “consumer products” and towards the seemingly more profitable professional and industrial 3D printing markets, 3D Systems is discontinuing production of its low-cost $999 Cube desktop 3D printer. The remaining inventory of Cube printers will continue to be sold until exhausted, and sales of the $2,799 CubePro 3D printer—the company’s larger, higher-end model designed for desktop engineering, educational, and professional applications—will continue for the foreseeable future.
In addition to discontinuing its consumer 3D printer, the Cubify.com platform, which sells Cube 3D printers, 3D printing supplies, as well as a wide range of 3D printed consumer objects, including home décor, fashion, and toys, will close as of January 31, 2016. Customer support and 3D printing material sales will continue through a new e-commerce platform at 3dsystems.com, however sales of all retail 3D printed products are apparently being nixed permanently. “We’re excited to announce that we will be focusing on serving our customers in the education and engineer’s desktop markets in the New Year,” wrote the company in the original email. “What does this mean for you? Just a few changes on where to shop!”
The Cubify.com 'Design Feed', 'My Shelf', and retail marketplace will be discontinued as of January 31, 2016
"In connection with our ongoing review of our business and industry, we believe that the most meaningful opportunities today are in professional and industrial settings, from the product design shop to the operating room to the factory floor," said Andy Johnson, Interim-Chief Executive Officer & Chief Legal Officer, 3D Systems. "We are focusing our efforts on enabling professionals and companies to improve their designs, transform their workflows, bring innovative products to market and drive new business models."
Though the changes are significant, 3D Systems believes that this effort to “focus its resources and strategic initiatives on near-term opportunities and profitability” will in fact impact revenue by less than 2%, while improving profitability and resulting in a $19M-$25M charge in the fourth quarter.
This strategic shift is no doubt part of the company’s plans, announced in its Q3 report, to “reduce our cost structure and better prioritize our resources around near-term opportunities.” The news also follows former 3D Systems President and CEO Avi Reichental stepping down in October, which triggered a fall in shares of 7% in premarket trading for the company, as well as a federal filing to lay off 80 3D Systems employees at its Andover, Massachusetts office. As of today, 3D Systems’ listing (DDD) on the NYSE is down -3.43% to $10.14.
What does this news mean for the consumer 3D printing industry and retail 3D printing market? Potentially not too much. Despite both 3D Systems and Stratasys (who also suffered significant losses in its third quarter) citing “increased uncertainty in the 3D printing environment” and “reduced demand across all geographies,” projected sales and shipments for 3D printers in 2016 and beyond remain extremely positive. Additionally, CONTEXT's recent report on the 3D printing market indicated that 85% of all 3D printers shipped to date belong to the personal/desktop 3D printer category, rather than the industrial bracket. Thus, there is still a high demand for affordable desktop 3D printers--perhaps just not the $999 Cube itself. This strategic shift away from the low-cost consumer 3D printing marketplace could just be one bump in the road to long-term success for the 3D print giant and the desktop 3D printing industry as a whole.
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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Peter wrote at 10/13/2016 8:26:58 AM:
While I found the cube 3 printer ok, the cartridges have always been totally crap. Never again shall I buy from this company. And they have just shafted a lot of customers too.
Fred wrote at 1/21/2016 9:00:54 PM:
They never discontinue materials, that's their favorite thing to sell!
sigma42 wrote at 12/29/2015 9:12:14 PM:
There is a company out there that makes cartridges for cube 2 and cube pro printers
TheMogget wrote at 12/29/2015 5:02:06 PM:
"Additionally, CONTEXT's recent report on the 3D printing market indicated that 85% of all 3D printers shipped to date belong to the personal/desktop 3D printer category, rather than the industrial bracket." So? A consumer-grade printer is going to be at most a couple thousand dollars, and an industrial one can be above a hundred thousand dollars. Give us the market share by product in terms of dollars, and the true story is revealed.
Spanoman wrote at 12/29/2015 2:24:04 AM:
I agree could never get this printer to work. They aren't putting more effort into their products business they just suck at making consumer grade devices.
Buzzz wrote at 12/28/2015 11:04:10 PM:
The Cube 3 was doomed from the start, the proprietary cartridge pushed the filament into a print head that was at the tip of the cartridge filament lead. This meant if the printing plate was even slightly out of alignment it would cause a jam and cause the gears to become stripped in the cartridge rendering it useless.
akka69 wrote at 12/28/2015 7:11:59 PM:
I wonder how long they will keep selling cube3 cartdriges... They will have a mob of angry customers when they discontinue it and I will be among them. I will never again buy a printer with proprietary consumables. My next printer will defintively be open-source.