Ricoh Europe partnered with Leapfrog 3D Printers to resell the award-winning Leapfrog Creatr HS 3D printer and other models in Europe from January 2015.
Ricoh will provide a complete package of support for customers around the Leapfrog 3D printers, including the ability to add 3D printers to existing Ricoh imaging print service contract.
“The partnership will initially be available to customers in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK, with wider availability across Europe during 2015,” says Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA.
Ricoh and Leapfrog 3D Printers will initially focus on customers in the education sector, expanding to support customers in the engineering and manufacturing sectors over time. Both companies are well established in the education sector, where schools, colleges and universities are using 3D printers to enrich teaching across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and design subjects.
Leapfrog 3D Printers already provides educational 3D print packages and curriculum materials, while Ricoh offers tailored print installation, management, training and support contracts.
This news follows Ricoh’s launch of an additive manufacturing business in Japan last year. The company’s strategy includes opening two Ricoh Rapid Fab facilities in Japan to offer 3D print services to customers and spearhead research and development into 3D printing technologies and applications.
The move into 3D printing is a natural evolution for Ricoh. It already has an established 3D print head development and manufacturing operation, acting as an OEM for a number of 3D printer manufacturers. It also has a number of technologies in prototyping and moulding, in addition to its accumulated experience using 3D printers for its own product design processes over the past 20 years.
Olivier Vriesendorp, director of product marketing at Ricoh Europe says: “As 3D printer capabilities develop, Ricoh customers in Europe are beginning to evaluate the role that this potentially game-changing technology can play in their organisations.”
Mathijs Kossen, CEO of Leapfrog 3D Printers, says: “Ricoh Europe shares our mission of adding real value for businesses and schools by providing them with a combination of the right tools and services. Besides high quality 3D printers, we also offer complete solutions that provide a customised mix of 3D printing hardware, software, print materials, and learning platforms to different user groups.”
Ricoh has extensive experience of partnering with education institutions to help drive modernisation and efficiencies, providing a range of services, from the printing and collation of course materials and security for confidential papers and research, to support of mobile strategies and the enablement of remote learning. Change management support ensures that with any technology implementation, processes to support users are developed to help drive adoption.
By offering quality facilities and services for both students and staff across management, research and teaching, institutions are best placed to attract incoming students and funding.