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Prodways discontinues line of Solidscape wax printers for jewelry casting

Due to the segment's poor financial performance in 2023

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Prodways Group, a company specializing in industrial and professional 3D printing, is discontinuing its line of small printers for jewelry casting, marketed under the Solidscape brand. According to the company, the disappointing performance in 2023, mainly due to weak machinery sales, has led the group to take measures to quickly improve its results.

Prodways Group remains a key player in the global 3D printing scene, both technologically and in terms of financial profitability, and this decision is expected to strengthen this position by allowing the group to focus on the segment of large industrial printers.

Prodways discontinues line of wax printers for jewelry casting due to the segment's poor financial performance in 2023. For several years, the company has been marketing small printers for the high-end jewelry sector under the Solidscape brand. The sales of these small printers – with a unit value of approximately €15k – as well as the associated materials and services, reportedly generated a turnover of around €5 million in 2023, and a significant operating loss. The cessation of this activity is therefore expected to have a positive structural impact on Prodways’ profitability.

Solidscape used to be one of the strongest brands in jewelry 3D printing, leveraging its proprietary Smooth Curvature Printing (SCP) material jetting process to create pure wax jewelry patterns with unique precision. The company was founded in 1994 by Royden C. Sanders, under the name Sanders Prototyping, to build wax-based 3D printers utilizing the SCP and Vector Printing technologies, where two jets (build and support) move in both directions (x and y) while depositing wax droplets on the build plate. According to VoxelMatters data from a few years ago, as many as 5,000 Solidscape high-precision 3D printers were operating in over 80 countries at its peak. The company was sold to Stratasys in 2011 for $38 million when it was generating about $13 million in revenues and good profitability. It was then sold to Prodways in 2018 amidst a reorganization. Elements contributing to Prodways’ decision could include competition from high-productivity MJP wax 3D printers by 3D Systems and from low-cost photopolymerization 3D printers and castable resins.

Although the market for 3D printing in the jewelry industry is still growing, the weak performance of these systems last year has led the group to reassess the efforts needed to turn around this small printer business, especially in comparison with the prospects for industrial printers. Prodways Group will shift focus from jewelry to large high-value-added printers and associated materials, in particular the MovingLight range – a segment with more room for growth and a higher profitability profile. The company also benefits from its positioning in existing markets, such as the medical sector, and could generate opportunities through new industrial applications for sectors such as aeronautics.

The shutdown of the jewelry activity should be finalized by the end of summer 2024. The impact in the 2023 financial statements is currently estimated at around €15 million in depreciation (non-cash impact), with the figure being finalized during the ongoing consolidation of the 2023 financial statements. In 2024, the costs related to this shutdown are expected to represent just over €1 million, primarily in the first half of the year.

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  1. We have both Soldscapes and a MJP 2500W. The MJP 2500W runs about $50k before service contracts, installation, training etc. They (3D Systems) just put out a new version, the 300W that has higher Z resolution and I think it is around $75k. The envelopes on both are about 4x the size of a Solidscape and the print MUCH faster. The downside is the surface comes out a bit “furry” but the resolution is comparable. Finishing after casting is about the same.

  2. This is great information! As a jeweler who currently uses Solidscape printers (have for 20+ years), this news is critical and essential for our business. I wish Solidscape would have notified us of their impending closure. So, do you have any articles comparing other 3D printers that are comparable to the Solidscape product? I’m currently running the S350 and it is am amazing unit.

    1. From what I understand, the main issue is that Solidscape’s printers are too much less productive than 3D Systems’ wax printers. So the best and only alternative using wax is represented systems such as the ProJet MJP 2500W series. However, those are high productivity systems and thus I think also significantly more expensive

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