The advent of 3D printing has been one of the most interesting developments in manufacturing in recent years, and it appears that the industry is set to continue expansion. One of the leading players in the enterprise 3D printing market, 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) is expanding its reach into Japan, leveraging a new deal with Canon Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:CAJ).

3D Systems Corporation 3D Stocks

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced a new deal with Canon Marketing Japan today. The agreement was initially reported by The Wall Street Journal. According to a press release from 3D Systems, the deal will see its full range of 3D printing solutions being sold by Canon Marketing Japan. The Japanese company began selling 3D Systems’ advanced manufacturing products last October.

3D Systems takes on Japan

According to the deal, Canon Marketing Japan will begin to market 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DD) products including ProJet professional series of 3D printers, desktop prototyping CubeX 3D printer and Geomagic scan-to-CAD software. The deal includes the sale of the company’s most popular product, the ProJet 3500, which is used for jewellery, dental and prototyping applications.

3DS’ CubeX 3D is a 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) desktop solution for small enterprise. The machine is affordable and is intended for use by small businesses that only require the printer for routine small manufacturing, such as the creation of molds, or the creation of models.

Canon Marketing Japan Senior Vice President Masahiro Sakata said that he was looking forward to establishing 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) as the “go-to-source and leading provider of 3D printing in Japan.” Today’s move pushed shares of 3D Systems up by close to 2% at time of writing, while major competitor Stratasys Ltd. (NYSE:SSYS) saw its shares fall by more than 1%.

3D printing competition set to explode

The 3D printing market remained almost completely closed until recent years saw the expiration of some key patents. Open source 3D printers have become popular solutions at the consumer level with companies like MakerBot Industries leveraging the phenomenon to push desktop solutions to consumers. Now that the industry has proved attractive, competition is heating up and former market leaders 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys Ltd. (NYSE:SSYS) will have to watch their market share.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) recently announced interest in the 3D printing market, and may form a formidable opponent when it begins to sell its systems to enterprise. 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) may be in the lead, and the deal with Canon Marketing Japan may help, but it is not in a secure position. Hard-fighting competition is coming to 3D printing, and 3D Systems will need to concrete its position in order to secure its value.