When I visit 3D printing events in China what seems very clear to me is that Chinese adopters use 3D printing a lot. They generally don’t ask all the questions that Europeans and Americans ask and they don’t spent too much time thinking about the issues and the limitations of the technology: they just use it. Hangzhou based 3D printing service FF3DM used it to 3D print a fleet of huge model ships.
In order to do this they used an industrial grade RSPro600 SLA 3D printer from local manufacturer UnionTech. The RSPro600 is a solid system with a build platform size of 600 mm x 600mm x 500 mm (23.6 in x 23.6 in x 19.7 in.), scanning speed of up to 12 m/s and 0.002 in (0.05 mm) layer thickness capabilities. It uses any 355 nm SL material, which is probably one of the reasons why the FF3DM was actually cost effective.
A few weeks ago China Daily published an article estimating that the Chinese 3D printing industry is work as much as $14 billion. This would be as much as twice the overall global market value estimated by Wohlers in its latest report. Although the Chinese figure is likely overblown, the value and the impact of 3D printing hardware, software, materials and applications in China should not be underestimated.
Not to mention that Chinese companies are now becoming more proficient at marketing as well. Websites like FF3DM, UnionTech, Farsoon and Shining3D have nothing to envy to US and European websites in terms of style, design and accessibility.
UnionTech stereolithography equipment was introduced in 2000 and has since grown to be one of the market leading brands in China. The company has broadened its market reach to support a growing customer base in North America, Europe Russia, and Asia. Union Tech Inc. is the US-based fully owned subsidiary of Shanghai Union Technology Corporation. It was established in 2016 in St. Charles, Illinois, and is responsible for marketing of the UnionTech stereolithography product line.
UnionTech collaborated with DSM through a supplier relationship with their Somos SL products since 2003. Other supplier synergies include software applications through Materialise and equipment components supplied by Panasonic, Spectra-Physics, Optowave America, SCANLAB and CTI.