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The massive wave of 3D creativity that originated in Northwestern Europe has been at the forefront of bringing 3D printing to the masses. Visionary artists such as Janne Kittanen, now at 3D Systems, foresaw consumer applications of 3D printing over a decade ago through design ventures such as Freedom of Creation. Then came Shapeways and iMaterialise; now the final stage is seeing what has long been predicted: 3D Print stores and web shops popping up everywhere.
The latest to enter the consumer 3D printing arena — the website’s blog went live on January 20th — is Trideus, a 3D printing eCommerce venture based in Lummen, Belgium. Its recipe for success is a fairly linear one, which may also mean that demand for personal FFF 3D printers has become high enough to support the existence of many dedicated eTailers (after all Credit Suisse just admitted that they had underestimated the predicted 3D printing market value for 2016 by about $600 million)
So Trideus is selling fused deposition 3D printers, filament and accessories. Simple. Their key to success is having an inventory with all products in stock and rapid delivery which, as long as the big consumer electronics chains do not yet get into the business in Europe as they are starting to do in the USA, is a strategic advantage. Trideus also allows customers to pick up purchases at its showroom in Lummen.
The model line up includes all current 3D Systems Cube models, the Leapfrog Creatr, all Builder 3D systems, the Felix 3.0 (both assembled and DIY), both PP3DP systems (Up! mini and Up! Plus 2), for a total of 10 machines and one kit. Filament is both available in 3D printer specific versions (from Leapfrog or 3D Systems) or as generic PLA/ABS and speciality materials from Formfutura, with prices that are aligned to those offered by most other international online retailers.
Only time will tell if their business model will be successful. As unpredictable as the market is, so far predictions have only been too conservative, so the most important thing is to be there, online or even physically (since 3D printing is also about de-virtualizing). The rest (3D scanners, 3D printing services and higher end machines) will all come in due time.