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Major strategic partnership with Hunan Farsoon Tech LTD

Prodways
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Paris, September 23, 2015, 7 :00 am  

Prodways signs a major strategic partnership with the Chinese company Farsoon, one of the global leaders in 3D Printing

Prodways extends its offer of technologies to selective laser sintering for plastics and metals

Prodways Group, 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 machines, which are 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 is, according to Farsoon, 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, 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.”, announced Philippe Laude, Deputy Managing Director of Prodways Group.

Combining the two companies’ R&D resources will create a very powerful research facility, allowing us 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”, commented Dr. Xu, founder of Farsoon.  

A significant new investment in Varia 3D

Prodways announced that a significant stake had been taken in Varia 3D, based in Texas (USA). As the commercial long-standing partner of Farsoon, Varia 3D offers service bureau activities, machine maintenance and also 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 which was first made with the creation of the Prodways Americas subsidiary in Minneapolis in February 2015, and confirms the Company’s global ambitions.

These two strategic announcements represent a major stage in Prodways’ technological and geographical development strategy for the market for 3D Printing. They mark a sizeable step forward to becoming an alternative to the current leaders and confirm the Company’s stated objective of becoming the third-largest player in the world to offer an industrial multi-technological product range.  

Biographies

Dr. Xiaoshu Xu, founder of Farsoon

Doctor Xiaoshu Xu is a Chinese American scientist with a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Material Science from the Colorado School of Mines.

He is a world-renowned expert in the field of laser layered manufacturing and focuses in particular on research in laser sintering technology for industrial applications. He worked as CTO for several leading American laser layered manufacturing companies between 1998 and 2010, including DTM, 3D Systems and Solid Concepts.

In 2009, Dr. Xu founded Farsoon High-tech Co., Ltd., a total solution supplier of selective laser sintering and melting, based in China.

In 1996, Dr. Xu received the R&D 100 Award, which is one of the most prestigious prizes in the American scientific and technological communities.

In 2011, Dr. Xu received the Dinosaur Award from AMUG, a prize awarded to people who have made a significant contribution in the field of laser sintering.

In 2012, Dr. Xu was appointed as WKH only liaison in the Asia-Pacific region by AMUG.

Xiaoshu Xu‘s experience:

2004-2010: Technical Director of Solid Concepts, Inc., Valencia, CA.; Senior consultant of 3D Systems Inc., Valencia, CA.

1998-2004: Technical Director of 3D Systems Inc., Valencia, CA.

1997-1998: Chief Engineer of Software Development, Trilogy Inc, Austin, Texas, USA.

1990- 1997: Technical Director of American Welding Institute, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.  

Brian Bauman, founder of Varia 3D

Brian started his career with DTM Corporation in 1991 and quickly became known as an expert in SLS technology. He later served as Production Manager at two of the largest industry service bureaus, Accelerated Technologies Inc. and Plynetics Express, for the remainder of the ‘90s before returning to DTM in 2000. In 2001, 3D Systems bought DTM and integrated the service organizations, where he was then appointed Director of Applications, Education and Technology Services of North America for all technologies.

From 2005 to 2012, Brian worked for DSM, in charge of the Somos stereo lithography materials portfolio. In addition to Product Management responsibilities, he led the applications and service teams that provided feedback to the development teams during Alpha testing. In 2008, he led a special project in the development of a new advanced photopolymer imaging technology. During his time with DSM, Brian served four years on the AMUG (Additive Manufacturing Users Group) board, leading efforts to expand the user group organization to include many 3D printing technologies.

In 2012, Brian created Linked In 3D, LLC, to help develop companies in the area of 3D printing. Panashape.com is an online quoting engine and e-commerce platform for 3D printed parts built on open source Word Press. Sintergy™ was created shortly thereafter, to develop laser sintering applications with powder sales for existing machine platforms. In 2013, Brian received the DINO Award from the AMUG in recognition of his long-term support of the User Group and achievements in the advancement of the 3D printing industry. In 2014, along with Dr. Xu of Farsoon, he established AMTRI (Additive Manufacturing Technology Research Institute) in the Nansha District of Guangzhou, China, with the goal of it becoming a leading global research institute for additive manufacturing.  

Chuck Kennedy, founder of Varia 3D

Chuck has over 30 years’ experience in technical services and over 20 years’ involvement with 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. An Air Force veteran (8 years), he joined DTM Corporation in 1991 as a field service/controls engineer during the start-up phase of SLS technology. Chuck was with DTM Corporation for 8 years and built the field service organization from 1993 until 1999, when he left the company as Director of Operations in Europe. 

After a short stint as an Operations Manager with Dell Computer, Chuck joined Objet Geometries (Polyjet 3D printing) in North America and over the next six years he worked for Objet and Stratasys in technical support and supervisor roles during the early development days of Polyjet, and its ultimate acceptance by the 3D printing industry. In late 2006, he founded Equipment Service Professionals LLC (ESP), a service company specializing in the service and support of Objet Geometries’ Polyjet 3D printers. With over 50 companies using ESP services, he built a reputation as an expert in this technology as well.

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