As a 3D Systems Authorized Dealer, Rapids Reproductions thought it was time the Cedar Rapids market became better acquainted with 3D printing, so they decided to have a two-day open house. But their open house had an educational component as well.
According to Jerry Mohwinkle, President of Rapids Reproductions, at least 35 companies pre-registered for the seminars, one in the morning and one in the afternoon on each day of the open house. The seminars went into great detail explaining the 3D printing process.
Last year, their open house was a one-day event, but they were so successful that this year they decided to extend it to two days. Jerry says, out of the six plus professionals working the open house, “…everyone was occupied most of the time.”
The two hour seminars were designed to help his clients become more familiar with the 3D process, and to establish a relationship with prospects in the 3D marketplace. Specific topics included 3D scan demonstrations and reverse engineering and inspection, with 3D print demonstrations on the main floor during the open house. Jerry states, “More people are moving from being ‘tire-kickers’ to a really strong interest in the 3D printing process.”
Rapids Reproductions began their 3D printing services 1 ½ years ago and it’s been going strong ever since. Jerry says their business model has always been “we do what we sell”. That is, they print 3D but they also sell 3D equipment–from personal models to production models and 3D scanners. He’s finding that the open house concept brings in more service business at first but that selling the printers will come with time. “Clients are understanding the return-on-investment on the 3D equipment they purchase.”