There was quite a bit of vertical media pick-up after Lenovo’s recent Tech World conference during which the company showcased a number of 3D Printers. The attention is deserved as the world awaits HP’s 3D printer offering in 2016 and then, rightly, assumes that other PC companies will soon jump in as well (although HP’s initial offering will focus on the Commercial/Professional space as opposed to focusing on the Consumer space where most anticipate PC companies will compete).
The demonstration of the technology – including the 3D printing of chocolate – was exciting indeed – for global Lenovo attendees as well as the industry at large. However, some misinterpretation of the event by various media outlets suggested to some that we are about to see Lenovo-branded 3D printers on the market (although there was no specific indication that these are in the works. However, there were some slight misinterpretations of Lenovo’s showcase of the technology with some indicating the forthcoming sales of Lenovo’s own-brand 3D Printers (of which there is no specific indication…yet).
Digging further, it seems that what Lenovo was really saying was that a new offshoot is to begin reselling desktop 3D Printers via an online-only platform. The printers are produced by the leading Chinese company XYZPrinting. While not yet a household name, XYZPrinting has been the top global vendor of desktop 3D Printers over the last two quarters, with their da Vinci printers succeeding worldwide but really shining in China. Over the past few quarters it has beaten MakerBot (the best known desktop 3D Printer brand, especially in the US) to the global number one spot.
The name of this new Lenovo reseller division is ShenQi. It was originally announced as a new online platform that would be used primarily to promote their own-brand smartphone in China, but also to sell various IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. It became clear at the Tech World conference showcase that the re-sale of XYZPrinters is at the heart of these IoT offerings. To be clear, ShenQi is not a new sub-brand for 3D Printers but merely the name of the new reseller division which began operation under the name FM365.com (itself a reincarnation of a reseller brand from 15+ years ago) and has already morphed into the online-only, China focused www.zuk.com store selling mobile phones, wireless routers and the XYZPrinting 3D Printers.
So, it’s great to see that Lenovo is getting into the 3D-Printing space even if it’s only as a reseller … for the moment.