Roland DG to Transfer 3D Equipment Sales to Subsidiary DGSHAPE

Roland DG Corporation announced that it has decided to transfer its 3D business, consisting of the development and sales of 3D milling machines, 3D printers, engraving machines and photo impact printers, to a newly-established, wholly-owned subsidiary, DGSHAPE Corporation, which starts operation on April 3, 2017.

In 2010, Roland DG leveraged its 3D milling technology to introduce the DWX series dental milling machines used for fabricating dental prostheses such as crowns, copings and bridges. The DWX series soon gained recognition among dental labs worldwide for their precision, user-friendliness, robust reliability and open system. Today, the DWX series has become a major growth engine for Roland DG’s 3D business, accounting for 60% of sales in that segment.

Widely known for market leadership in wide-format inkjet printers and faced with significant changes throughout its 3D product portfolio, Roland DG determined that the best approach for increasing visibility for its growing 3D business would be to spin it off as an autonomous company. DGSHAPE will provide further value throughout the dental market by developing marketing channels with dedicated sales and marketing teams, bringing fresh technical innovation to digital fabrication tools, and developing solutions based on the open system concept.

In addition to the dental industry, DGSHAPE will explore business opportunities in the medical field with a medical instrument traceability and maintenance support system. DGSHAPE intends to look for further possibilities in the healthcare field in the future by integrating the skills and know-how cultivated through its efforts in the dental and medical fields. DGSHAPE will also continue to provide innovative 3D products and solutions for the prototyping, education, personalization, fabrication and hobby fields, as well as evolve the existing business for 3D digital fabrication tools to be a strategic platform for generating new products and businesses. For now, sales, service and support for DGSHAPE will continue to be handled by Roland DG.

According to Kohei Tanabe, Executive Officer and General Manager of DGSHAPE Market Development Department for Roland DG who will become Representative Director, President and CEO of DGSHAPE in March, 2017, the mission of DGSHAPE Corporation is to harness the 3D digital fabrication technologies and expertise that Roland DG has developed over more than three decades as well as its proprietary digital cell production system and global customer service and support system in order to provide advanced digital manufacturing/fabrication solutions. “DGSHAPE intends to deliver a greater level of added value that advances a new age of digital fabrication by not only developing innovative hardware and software,” Tanabe said, “but by providing more efficient production workflows, enhanced service and support including consulting, and an open innovation environment that can generate a thriving business through exploiting next-generation technologies such as Cloud, IoT, AI and robotics.”

Three decades following the release of Roland DG’s first personal 3D milling machine, the concept of desktop fabrication continues to generate growing interest. The growth of the internet and social media, the availability of smart devices and personal-use 3D printers, and the increase in the number of public workshops including Fab Labs and manufacturer studios has expanded the horizons of digital creation amongst a vast number of hobbyists, entrepreneurs and “Makers” globally. Now that fabrication is no longer confined to product research and design engineers and specialists in manufacturing companies, a cultural revolution is taking place that has the potential to create new, innovative applications from the collective knowledge and ideas of vast numbers of people around the world.

With such significant advances occurring globally throughout various digital fabrication fields, DGSHAPE will focus its research and development at providing even further innovation and value to customer fabrication efforts. While maintaining its position in its core markets, DGSHAPE will also focus on harnessing next-generation technologies like IoT, AI and robotics to develop solutions suited to a new era of creativity and fabrication. Just as Roland DG previously identified and generated new business growth from its 3D digital fabrication technologies, DGSHAPE will also strive to identify the seeds of new businesses opportunities for future growth.

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