Syndicated Pulse is thrilled to feature Zortrax as part of its voice of the industry interview program and thanks to Mr. Rafal Tomasiak, who agreed to share his views on the state of the additive manufacturing industry as well as highlight the opportunities that lie ahead for vendors and Zortrax in this space.
Rafał Tomasiak is one of Zortrax founders and the company’s President of the Board. Together with his team, Rafał created from scratch an integrated 3D print environment – one of Zortrax’s distinctive features on the global market guaranteeing reliability and high quality of printouts. Rafał participated in the designing process of award-winning Zortrax M200 (amongst others, the printer was named the best plug&play 2015 device and the best desktop device in April 2015 by the largest 3D print society – 3D Hubs) and Inventure.
Syndicated Pulse (SP): Can you share with our readers a brief insight into Zortrax’s history and the vision behind its formation?
Zortrax: Zortrax solutions have been developed since 2011. We were the first company in Poland to conduct a successful crowd funding campaign through Kickstarter, and since then we have completely fulfilled our liabilities towards the community. Now the company hires over 120 employees and our professional printing solutions are available worldwide. Ultimately, we entered the Polish stock market – a decision which is a perfect reflection of our success. Our M200 3D printer was recognized by 3D Hubs community as the best desktop 3D printer in the world. We do not only offer 3D printers but above all provide a comprehensive printing environment which, combined with plug-and-play 3D printers, brings forward a completely new experience for professionals in this area.
SP: Zortrax, as we understand, is an emerging company in the 3D printing market – more specifically Desktop 3D printing. (Correct me if I’m wrong). Having said that, what do you consider as the growing/emerging opportunities in this area of the market?
Zortrax: At this stage Zortrax is a leading 3D printing producer in Poland, and one of the most important in Europe. Our long-term strategy assumes a jump in development; which means that we want to introduce innovative solutions which will keep us ahead of the competition. The 3D printing market is growing rapidly, and there are still a lot of opportunities to take. More and more companies are implementing 3D printing solutions in their technology process because of its precision and reliability. The fact is; the only thing that can limit the 3D printing market is the imagination of creators and end-users, so we’re pretty confident about the bright future ahead.
SP: In your opinion, what are some of the key technological trends that are shaping the industry?
Zortrax: Every producer tries to implement their own unique solutions. We believe that the future lies in precision. Thanks to its compact design, notification system and a new soluble support system, our Zortrax Inventure 3D printer will create new possibilities for many companies and markets to print even more in one piece and have enhanced control over their 3D printing processes.
SP: What would you like your customers/clients to know about Zortrax’s product offerings? Do you also offer services?
Zortrax: First of all, Zortrax is company that you can definitely rely on. Since the beginning – our main emphasis has been placed on quality. Zortrax products are a complete package of integrated solutions – professional 3D printers, compatible materials and dedicated software. Thanks to this, our printers achieve high quality prints, dimensional accuracy and repeatability while eliminating the hassle of adjusting parameters of materials or software. The Zortrax Ecosystem is everything that professionals need in one smart box, from design offices to large companies. Yes, we care about our customers, which is why we offer services and technical support on our website, where you can find the latest software updates and hints.
SP: There seems to be a digital revolution happening on the market, with consumers designing their own toys and products. Are your products primarily directed at consumers or are you also trying to meet the demands of all potential end user industries?
Zortrax: As I said before, our products are a perfect choice for business. Of course Zortrax 3D printers allow you to 3D print almost everything – from toys, prototypes, robotic arms to mechanical parts. The best thing about 3D printing is that it can meet various expectations, and as we see our customers are using it in a very wide range of markets ranging from design through medicine and even aviation.
SP: In terms of markets and demographics, where are you finding the largest uptake for the sale of your printers? What markets do you consider as key for both present and future growth?
Zortrax: The 3D printing market is developing very rapidly in Europe, Asia and America. This is why we do not want to focus on just one region; because every one of them holds many possibilities. The same situation applies to the key industries. Yearly, we discover that more and more companies functioning on various markets are deciding to implement 3D printing solutions for various reasons. The markets are still insatiable, and we predict that this situation will last for the next couple of years. Of course every market and its needs differ from one other. You can’t compare the Asian market and the European in terms of demographics and needs. This is why our strategy is to meet various expectations and focus on introducing cutting-edge solutions.
SP: Who would you consider to be your key competitors, and how are you trying to differentiate yourselves from them?
Zortrax: Zortrax is a definite 3D printing leader in Poland, we also develop our business abroad – we note the biggest number of sales in Western Europe and in USA where the awareness of competitive advantages of 3D printing is the highest. You can buy our products in solutions in over 50 countries all over the world. Our main competitors are the leading American producers who have an established position on this market. It is worth mentioning that the market is also full of open source solutions, but mostly they are hard to operate and too complicated for self-assembling and calibration. Our products after plugging are ready to work, that is what differentiates us and makes customers choose Zortrax.
SP: What have been your biggest challenges so far and how have you realigned your strategies to overcome them?
Zortrax: Every year brings forward new challenges for us. From a small company to a leading global producer present on the Polish stock market, we need to constantly adapt our strategy and expectations to meet the reality that stands in front of us. From a business point-of-view, our advantage was that we weren’t afraid to approach foreign markets. We knew that our products could easily compete with those which were already available, and as time has shown – it was a good decision. Of course it was challenging to adapt our offer to specific market needs, but thanks to our successful cooperation with our business partners, we were able to approach new countries and regions. There are also challenges which result from technological changes and the constant need for innovation; however we are able to overcome such difficulties thanks to our R&D division – which continually provides us with more and more innovative solutions like Z-Suite Model Library, and free software and firmware updates and many more that we will implement in the near future.
SP: What do you think of the market conditions in 2014? How about 2015? How do you see the future of the 3D printing market, say in the next 5 years? As a conclusion, what role can we expect Zortrax to play in shaping the future of the market, and what specifically does the future hold for your company?
Zortrax: As surveys have shown, the overall value of the 3D printing market has risen by over 56% comparing to 2014. As experts have noticed, this trend should continue to be visible in the next few years giving an annual growth of over 44% from 2014 to 2019. In our opinion; there is still a lot to present, and there are still markets which hold a lot of potential and will rapidly develop over the next few years. More and more companies are showing their interest in 3D printing. Recently, governmental agencies have begun to notice the potential of this technology. For example, we recently have won a public tender which aims to introduce 3D printing technologies to local communities. We still strive to develop our portfolio together with the company as a whole. We want to retain our leading market position in Poland, and begin to do so on a global scale. We will continue setting market trends amongst the competition whilst approaching these markets with new solutions.