Nov 10, 2017 | By David

Consumer 3D printing has had its ups and downs over the years, but after the initial burst of enthusiasm ebbed away a few years ago and problems started to be identified, companies are now starting to enter the market again. The latest manufacturer to do so is Spanish company Tumaker, and its desktop 3D printer is called the Voladd. Tumaker is intending the machine to be for people coming to 3D printing for the first time, and it hopes to catch the new wave of 3D printing confidence just as it is starting to crest.

Tumaker is a relatively young company, headquartered in the town of Oiartzun in Spain’s Basque Country. Its first desktop 3D printer, the Voladora, was released back in 2013, and the company is hoping that this latest version should be able to capitalize on an expanded consumer marketplace. A prototype version of the Voladd was demonstrated in June, with representatives of the company hitting the streets and introducing the technology to people in various public locations. The final version of the product has now hit the market. The initial rollout was in six of the popular Eroski sypermarkets in the Basque region.

Tumaker hopes to sell the first 3,000 units by Christmas, and is estimating a total of 100,000 sales by 2020, with total revenue of around 22 million Euros. If the product is successful in the local area, the company is eyeing Portugal as the next region to focus sales efforts on, in the short term. Medium term goals are to launch Tumaker’s Voladd 3D printer in the German, French, Italian and UK markets.

As for selling its product further afield, the company is making use of crowdfunding sites to get its name out there in the United States and Asia, generating interest at the lowest possible cost. Its Kickstarter was one of the first successful campaigns by a technological company from the Basque region.

The Voladd 3D printer was designed by Tumaker to be compatible with PLA, a bio-based FDM filament. This natural sustainable bio-plastic, made from corn products, was sourced from a company based in Jaen. The 3D printer will come pre-loaded with these cartridges, but the company is also working to increase the materials compatibility without sacrificing its basic ethos. It will soon be collaborating with Leartike, a research center of the Mondragón Corporation, to expand its filament catalog. Almost all of the parts for the machine were sourced in the local area, apart from the main motor which was shipped from China.

Along with the Voladd 3D printer, which will be available for just under 800 Euros in chain stores as well as speciality technology outlets, Tumaker customers will also have access to a library of digital 3D models for free. They can download these virtual objects and easily print them off at the touch of a button.

According to company CEO Jon Bengoetxea, the key to the Voladd 3D printer’s success will be this new strategy Tumaker is adopting. The sales approach will focus on absolute newcomers to the technology, and will conceptualize the product not as another 3D printer to compete with the existing offerings, but as an entirely new retail opportunity or way of life. ''We say that we are selling a printer. That is the great fault’’, he says. ''What we are offering is the possibility that people can make the products they need when they need them. Having things here and now... With Voladd you consume digital objects but, when you hit the button, they become physical. Instead of a song or a movie, you get an object for your entertainment, to solve a problem or for whatever you want’’.



Posted in 3D Printer



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