We have written about a number of fun Japan-based 3D printing projects. In a country like this one known for creative product design, 3D fabrication already off to a promising start. But in order for this space to thrive on a large scale, printers need to be accessible and affordable. We’ve previously written about a number of shared workspaces, including CUBE and FabCafe, which are helping in this regard.
We’re also pleased to see more printers going on sale here in Japan, including the Buccaneer 3D printer, whose parent company, Singapore-based Pirate3D, has just signed a distribution deal for Japan with Keienu Trading Company. Its printers are set to go on sale in the country in late May or early June.
It’s a little surprising to me to see that Pirate3D really didn’t waste any time moving in on the Japan market, seeing as how they are still just in the pre-order phase elsewhere. So I asked the company’s management engineer Evgeny Lazarenko why Japan represented such an important market for them. He explained:
Japan is arguably the most developed consumer market in Asia in terms of purchasing power. […] The nation is quick to experiment with new products, and 3D printing is all about experimentation. The ‘monozukuri’ philosophy is deeply ingrained into Japanese mentality. This nationwide maker spirit is exactly what Pirate3D is looking for. We believe that 3D printing market in Japan is going to explode very soon, and cultural element will be one of the major contributing factors to this.
He adds that because Japan cares about inspired product design, that the Buccaneer 3D printer will “resonate with tastes” in Japan.
For those not familiar with Pirate3D and its Buccaneer 3D printer, we should point out that the product is still pretty young, having launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign last summer that raised $1.4 million. The product itself focuses on ease-of-use, sporting a minimalist design without any buttons, just a light indicator. It can print continuously for over 200 hours, and can even function as a server through wireless connection with PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
While the they hesitate to make any sales projections, Evgeny says maybe they can move hundreds of units per month by September. A representative from their Japanese distributor, Keienu Trading, says that they have seen “explosive growth” in Japanese demand for 3D printers in the past year, and so far their distribution partners have all shown a “significant and promising” reaction to the Buccaneer 3D printer and its potential.
Check out the video above for an overview of the Buccaneer 3D. Pirate3D was backed by Red Dot Ventures and incubated by the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES).