Local 3D printer gets break in Japan

Local 3D printer gets break in Japan
Pirate 3D’s chief of design and user experience, Mr Tsang You Jun, with the award the company won in New York last month.

The locally made 3D printer Buccaneer has managed to get a toehold in the tough Japanese electronics retail market.

Mr Brendan Goh, chief operating officer of Pirate3D, which makes the device, told The Straits Times: "A leading Japanese retailer will carry the Buccaneer in 200 of its stores for demonstration.

"Other online businesses also bought a shipment from us for a pilot run to test out our product."

Few foreign-made consumer products can break into the Japanese electronics market and those that do, such as Apple and Samsung, are usually accompanied by big marketing dollars, he added. "The Japanese retailer is very interested in the Buccaneer but they also want to see the demand for such printers. They will then place their orders afterwards."

Other potential deals are now being closed in the United States with well-known consumer chains like Staples and Fry's as well as e-commerce websites.

A deal with a leading retailer in China is also close to completion, Mr Goh added.

The good news follows the firm's win in the consumer electronics show in New York on June 23 to June 27, where it picked up the prize for best product in the 3D category.

The show, organised by the US Consumer Electronics Association, drew thousands of trade professionals, analysts and retailers.

Pirate3D, a two-year-old start-up, grabbed headlines when it raised US$1.4 million (S$1.7 million) on the US crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

Chief executive Roger Chang said: "The CE award means a great deal for us, so being recognised as the best in our category validates our work."

Pirate3D has already delivered initial orders of the home-use 3D printer to its customers. "We are on track to full-scale production and bringing the Buccaneer to market. Manufacturing is a difficult and capital-intensive process, especially so when we will not settle for anything less than making a great product," said Mr Chang.

This article was first published on July 03, 2014.
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