Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Formlabs to Expand Its European Presence

ST Medical Devices

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formlabsSince 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs burst onto the scene in 2012, they have continued to grow at a rate that most companies can only dream of. It seems like they’ve been showing up in the news on a nearly monthly basis with announcements of new partnerships or market locations. Just a little over a month ago they announced five new partnerships that would allow them to expand into Israel, South Korea, South Africa, Turkey and Sweden. Formlabs has also recently expanded its distribution capabilities with partners in Turkey and Italy. The Massachusetts-based company now has a presence on five continents – not bad for a company that started with only twelve people and a Kickstarter campaign three years ago.

Now Formlabs, which has grown to over 100 employees, has announced that they will be expanding further into Europe. Additional partnerships have been cemented within Europe, and the company has already doubled the staff in their European headquarters. At a time when many big names in 3D printing have been seeing layoffs, the expansion from Formlabs is certainly a breath of fresh air.

“Europe is a key market for Formlabs and its diversity of culture, industries and languages is what makes it so interesting and challenging at the same time,” said Michael Sorkin, General Manager at Formlabs Europe. “We have doubled the size of our EU staff and in just 6 months we will have four times the number of employees as we started. We are looking for a variety of skills, but most of all we want people who are passionate about 3D printing and want to disrupt the industry with us.”

This ambitious outreach is driven by the goal of improving access to Formlabs technology, as well as implementing support in more languages.

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“Moreover, we have expanded our reach by adding key distribution partners in more than 10 different countries including Italy, Spain, Benelux, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, and we’re looking for more,” Sorkin continued.

form2Formlabs’ rapid success is at least partly due to the fact that they started out offering a product that virtually no one else had offered before. Their Form 1 desktop stereolithography printer was one of the first of its kind; previously, SLA printers were generally found only in large industrial settings. When word spread that an affordable, compact SLA printer was on the market, consumers snapped it up despite several flaws that tend to accompany new technology at the beginning. The recently released Form 2 printer fixed the flaws and streamlined the printing process, and received universally positive reviews.

You can often identify a young company based on the strength of its ambition; startups tend to attack the market with more enthusiasm and energy than older, more established companies. Formlabs has displayed a great deal of drive and initiative from the very beginning, and based on the recent influx of news surrounding the company, they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.  Let’s hear your thoughts on this news in the FormLabs Europe forum on 3DPB.com.

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