Prodways Group, a subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, has announced the signing of a major partnership with the Chinese company Hunan Farsoon High-Tech, regarding selective laser sintering technologies for plastic and metal powders. Prodways’ group will rapidly develop a full range of plastic and metal printers under the “Prodways powered by Farsoon” line, based on the current range of Farsoon’s machines. These 3D printers will be marketed worldwide by Prodways in the coming months, together with related materials.
These world-class industrial 3D selective laser sintering printers will enable Prodways to compete with the existing market players, becoming the only non-American company to offer a very large range of technologies using plastic and metal powders, as well as liquid resins.
Farsoon says it is the third-largest manufacturer in the world of industrial 3D printing machines using selective laser sintering of plastics and is developing high-quality plastic and metal technologies. The company, created in 2009 and employing 200 people, also boasts its own industrial facilities including, in particular, a chemical plant dedicated to the manufacture of sintering powder for additive manufacturing, which, according to Farsoon, makes it the second-largest manufacturer in the world of materials for selective laser sintering of plastics.
This strategic partnership brings together the acknowledged skills of Dr. Xu Xiaoshu, founder of Farsoon and a global reference in the field of selective laser sintering for more than 20 years, and Dr. André-Luc Allanic, co-founder of Prodways and inventor of the MOVINGLight® technology. "Farsoon and Prodways share the same vision and the same values of innovation and a constant search for the best solutions for their industrial customers. Moreover, Dr. Xu and Dr. Allanic have already worked together at 3D Systems before founding their own companies and developing groundbreaking 3D printing solutions,” says Philippe Laude, Deputy Managing Director of Prodways Group.
Combining the companies’ R&D resources will create a very powerful research facility, allowing them to rapidly develop selective laser sintering printers using plastic and metal powders. These will be marketed by Prodways worldwide under the “Prodways powered by Farsoon” brand. A dedicated assembly line for these new machines will be installed in Les Mureaux (Prodways’ site). Farsoon will benefit from the global coverage provided by Prodways.
“I am delighted by this partnership with Prodways, which boasts a well-known brand and has a very extensive network of dealers and service providers, and allows innovative solutions based on our technologies to be proposed to industrial customers worldwide,” Xu says.
Investment in Varia 3D
Prodways also announced that a significant stake had been taken in Varia 3D, based in Texas. As the commercial long-standing partner of Farsoon, Varia 3D offers service bureau activities, machine maintenance, and technical upgrades on machines, with significant expertise in selective laser sintering. Its founders, Brian Bauman and Chuck Kennedy, are acknowledged experts in selective laser sintering using plastic and metal powders; they will join the Prodways Americas teams. Their expertise will boost the selective laser sintering technology know-how already available in Prodways following the acquisition of the assets of the British company Norge Systems last March. This stake of 45% may be increased in the future. It strengthens Prodways’ footprint in the United States, a move first made with the creation of the Prodways Americas subsidiary in Minneapolis in February 2015.