Inside Shapeways’ New 3D Printing Facility
Shapeways took the wraps off its new 25,000-square foot 3D-printing facility in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this month.
(The scissors used in the ceremony were 3D-printed, of course.)
The factory, which is located in Long Island City, is Shapeways’ first outside the Netherlands and currently houses five printers and nine employees. The company plans to expand to between 30 and 50 printers and between 50 and 60 employees within the next year. Most of those employees will be designers and engineers.
There, Shapeways produces and ships hundreds of 3D-printed objects per day, from a bestselling button that doubles as a headphone cable clip, to iPhone cases and figurines. Anyone can set up a shop on Shapeways.com and begin selling their designs in a variety of materials, including nylon and sterling silver. Shapeways handles all production and ships orders within a few weeks.
Kegan Fisher, director of industrial engineering at Shapeways, says the company decided to establish a factory in Long Island City because of its accessibility and the tech scene that is opening up there. Fisher said she’s found the community open and collaborative, and has received support from several government committees, including the Mayor’s Office and Coalition for Queens.
You can tour the new facility by clicking through the photo gallery above.
October 31, 2012