Hobs acquires Canon UK 3D printing business


Hobs Group has expanded its reach in the UK 3D printing market after acquiring Canon UK’s 3D printer reseller business.

Hobs 3D is already a reseller for California-based manufacturer 3DSystems and will grow its client base by taking on responsibility for all customers who previously bought their machines from Canon. The acquisition, which completed in August, was confirmed this week.

The deal comes as the culmination of Canon UK’s plan to exit the 3D printing market, as Hobs looks to expand its own presence, with reselling and maintenance services running alongside prototyping, model making and its multi-sensory virtual reality platform VRCub3d.

Hobs Group chief executive James Duckenfield said: “Hobs and Canon have a relationship extending back to 1969. They are one of our key suppliers and when they were looking to exit 3D printing they looked to us as a safe pair of hands for their excellent list of clients.

“Our deal brings Hobs closer to exclusivity on 3DSystems resales in the UK, and will allow us to provide Canon’s clients with services that are enhanced by our own experience and expertise in 3D printing.

“We will also be able to provide, alongside our expert advice, overflow services on our own 3D printing systems, as well as a number of different materials. This market can peak and trough and we will be able to support our customers through that.”

Moving forward, Hobs will continue to expand and solidify its 3D offering, with all of its various services run under the Hobs 3D banner, which now employs circa 40 people and relocated to new 670sqm premises in east London late last year.

Further investment and development will see Hobs continue to merge its 3D and traditional print offerings in order to expand the options available to its clients.

Hobs Group has run an acquisitive streak through the year, its most recent purchase being the pre-packed trade and assets of the folding Callprint – bought in September and set to be gradually rebranded under the Hobs Repro banner.

In May, the group announced the sale of its £8m managed print services division Hobs On-Site to IT services business SCC, with all 85 staff transferred to the buyer, including managing director Simon Kelly.

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