|Write up on Tinkerline Studios (TTD-V) Adds to Product Portfolio in Growing 3D Printing Industry|
It may have taken nearly three decades to get some real wind in its sails, but 3D printing, the process of using computer-aided design software and layering technologies to create three-dimensional objects, is finally rolling. The uses are virtually limitless, with analysts debating over where the largest market potential actually rests because of the multitude of potential applications from design work to potentially re-creating human organs. United Kingdom-based Dovetailed has even recently developed what it has dubbed the 3D Fruit Printer, a machine that uses molecular gastronomy to create pearl-like globules of different flavors that can be eaten.
The industry growth figures are forecasting rapid expansion in the business, including Wohlers Associates predicting the industry to reach $4 billion next year, $6 billion in 2018 and almost $11 billion in 2021.
In January, exploration company White Bear Resources Inc. embarked on a mission to join this growing industry, penning a letter of intent to acquire Tinkerline Studios Ltd., a Langley, British Columbia-based technology company established in 2012 to penetrate the consumer 3D printing industry. In March, the deal was done via a share exchange agreement, effectively making Tinkerline the operating subsidiary of White Bear. All of the directors and officers of White Bear, less John Veltheer, resigned and Tinkerline management took control. Subsequently, name and ticker changes happened, with White Bear now officially trading under the name Tinkerline Studios Ltd.
Tinkerline developed and launched its first 3D printer, called the Ditto, in the fall of 2012. Two new models followed in 2013, the Ditto+ and Litto, which have garnered numerous accolades. The company is building out its business model with a particular focus on what are called “prosumers,” a portmanteau mash of the words producer and consumer, meaning the market segment that blends professional-grade products at what would be considered consumer-level pricing.
The company kicked-off May with the launch of it newest product, branded DittoPro. DittoPro, which expected to begin shipping at the end of the month, offers professional-grade print speeds and resolution of 50 to 300 microns (0.05-0.3 mm). The unit has a retail price tag of $1,999 CAD ($1,899 USD), which some may argue isn’t exactly targeting the general consumer, but with its small countertop footprint and ability to print objects that are taller and deeper than competitors in a fast manner, the DittoPro is competitively priced. It should also not be considered that 3D printer marketing isn’t targeting the “consumer” in the traditional sense of a homeowner, although the target demographic is expansive, including educators, designers, engineers, architects and other professionals.
"DittoPro is a superbly-crafted 3D printer that meets all the requirements of the prosumer user and education markets," said Todd Blatt, Tinkerline’s Vice President, Market Direction, in a statement announcing the DittoPro. "Its elegance blends nicely into a classroom or on a desk, and its reliability and higher performance set it apart from the other leading machines in the market.”
On Wednesday, the company again expanded its product line with the launch of their 1.75mm Polylactic Acid (PLA) Candy and Spring filament series. The open-spool filaments come in 12 bright colors to complement the four standard colors of the company’s Timeless filament series.
The news of the new 3D print material shouldn’t be expected to be market moving – shares of TTD are actually down 1 percent at 40 cents – but the building of a complete product line is important in the overall development of the company. Positioned as the only pure play in 3D printing in the Canadian market and sporting a market capitalization of only $16.2 million, the direction of Tinkerline Studios in an industry predicted by many to undergo exponential growth in the next few years may certainly be worth investors’ attention. Proper due diligence is, as always, encouraged.