Dead silence spreads at – one of the oldest and most distinguished for the global 3D printing industry news website… The last article was published on April 22, 2019 (273 days ago), which at this level of visibility and recognition of this type of website is a symptom of clinical death. In 2018, also froze for about two weeks, and since then both the number of published articles and their quality have dropped dramatically. Ultimately, since last April its all gone.

The website was founded in autumn 2011 by a Dutchwoman of Chinese origin – Anja van West. For years it was the second longest functioning, active medium of its kind in the world – the Canadian Fabbaloo website founded in 2007 is still the oldest one. For many years, had a dominant position on the 3D print media market, being the main information service for new products, premieres or innovative applications using 3D printing technologies. The vast majority of articles published in 2013-2014 on the 3D Printing Center were based on information from the Dutch portal.

Despite its overwhelming popularity, the portal was not free from controversy and flaws… Over the years, there were reports of several cases of copying articles from other media without providing any source. The graphic design of the portal was ugly and outdated practically from the very beginning – we were always very surprised why, despite such popularity and visibility, does the portal’s graphic design remain so hideous…? It didn’t have own logo (just a written name with common Tahoma font). Navigation was inconvenient, and 3D printers catalogue have not been updated for last 5 to 6 years.

The person behind the portal – Anja van West – was also complex. Although I have never had the opportunity to meet Anja personally, in the early years of my career, I had very good email contact with her and I will always remember her as a very polite and nice person. At the same time, people who had the opportunity to work for her always spoke very cautiously about it, giving in a more or less veiled way to understand that she was a difficult employer. In the world of 3D printing industry media, there have been rumors (never confirmed by me) that she has rejected very lucrative offers to sell the portal or part of its shares several times.

Today, the leader on the 3D printing media market is German All3DP, followed by American, British 3D Printing Industry, Canadian Fabbaloo and Italian 3D Printing Media. has never been journalistic or opinion-forming, always limited to news articles. Unfortunately, for the last year of its existence, their news stories were delayed for 2-3 days relative to the rest. On April 2019 – the last month of activity, only 22 articles were published on the portal, half of them in the first week of the month. And there has been only dead silence since then…

Although everything is always possible in business and it may turn out that in some future we will be witnessing some spectacular relaunch of the portal, I am afraid it is the ultimate end. I don’t know the financial and business situation of Anja van West, but it seems that if she ever thought about selling her portal seriously, this moment has gone forever…

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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