Ricoh Launches 3D Printing Related Business

- RICOH Rapid Fab Facilitates Innovation in Manufacturing -

Tokyo, September 8, 2014 –Ricoh Company, Ltd. today announced the launch of an additive manufacturing business (AM Business) centered on 3D printers. Through this new business, Ricoh will sell 3D printers and its associated output service directly to manufacturing customers, as well as provide consulting services to these customers using first-hand knowledge and experience.  

To support this launch, Ricoh will open two “RICOH Rapid Fab” facilities dedicated to advancing innovation in manufacturing, in Yokohama and Atsugi, Kanagawa prefecture. Initially, sales will be focused on the Japanese market through Ricoh Japan Corporation. Ricoh is also looking to develop this business globally.

In today’s rapid pace of business, the manufacturing industry is expected to respond to their customer’s evolving business challenges by quickly creating new and innovative products. The manufacturing industry has seen a significant increase in the interest of 3D printers as they provide key time- and cost-saving prototyping capabilities.

The move into 3D printing is a natural step for Ricoh. It has a number of technologies in prototyping and molding, in addition to its accumulated experience utilizing 3D printers for its product design over the past 20 years. With the launch of the AM business, Ricoh will apply this vast experience and knowledge to accelerate innovation directly with its manufacturing customers.

RICOH Rapid Fabs are designed to research and develop manufacturing innovations using 3D printers, primarily for design and manufacturing businesses. Customers can use the Fab as a showroom to experience 3D printing products, and also take advantage of the 3D printer output service using their own data. The Fabs also offer consulting services based on Ricoh’s own, rich experience.

The RICOH Rapid Fab in Shin-Yokohama opened on September 8 and is located inside the Ricoh’s Shin-Yokohama office in the Kanagawa prefecture, while the Fab in Atsugi will be opened in late September and will be within Ricoh’s Atsugi plant also in Kanagawa prefecture.

There are a number of 3D printing methods, including inkjet, material extrusion, and laser sintering. Ricoh has its own technologies related to inkjet, materials, and powders, which are necessary elements to produce these outputs. In particular, Ricoh directly sells inkjet heads utilizing laminated piezoelectric technology to industrial customers worldwide, which are widely used for paper printing and a variety of media, including signage, graphics, and three-dimensional fabrication. Ricoh will continue its research and development, leveraging its experience and technologies, while also consider in-house production and sales of 3D printers.

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