While Brooklyn may not be the Silicon Valley of the East, it certainly is a hub for innovation, especially in the tech world. It was the heart of America’s 3D printing industry; the birthplace of MakerBot and desktop 3D printing. While there are quite a few 3D printer companies and 3D printing-related companies still based in Brooklyn, we have seen MakerBot recently close its factory after less than a year of operations, shifting manufacturing overseas. One company that has remained faithful to its Brooklyn manufacturing roots is the small 3D printer startup gCreate.
gCreate was founded by Gordon LaPlante and Anna Lee. The couple began building their large-format, open-source 3D printers in their living room, after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013. By the summer of 2014 they were operating out of a small manufacturing space in Industry City, Brooklyn. Though the past year has seen once promising 3D printing companies like Solidoodle shutter their doors forever, gCreate just announced that they have expanded their operations. According to Lee, gCreate is solidly on track to break YOY revenue from 2015 to 2016. The increased demand for their gMax 3D printers necessitated that gCreate move to a larger space.
gCreate proudly manufactures, assembles, tests, and ships all of their gMax 3D printers in-house and the larger space will allow for increased efficiency, a strategic hiring initiative, and an additional focus on production and R&D. It will also allow for an expansion of their selective large format 3D printing services. The company’s large-format gMax Printers can 3D print anything from functional geometric light fixtures such as their popular artichoke lamp shade, usable children’s puzzle chairs, and even full-size Pikachus that can be completed as a single print.
The new space was designed by architect and gCreate Co-Founder Gordon LaPlante, who made sure to encapsulate the look and feel of Brooklyn along with the gMax aesthetic. Wood and metal adorn the modern industrial style of the new space which also surrounds a custom designed print farm with over 58,000 cubic inches of printer volume.
“To be able to expand our operations and remain in Brooklyn is a huge win for us,” says gCreate Co-Founder Anna Lee. “We are proud to be a NYC-based company that is creating manufacturing jobs locally and also supporting many US suppliers in areas such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Upstate New York.”
The expansion to Bushwick, a rapidly growing, street art-covered tech hub in the North Brooklyn Industrial Zone, will allow the company to keep up with the continuously increasing demand for their products and services. Recent upgrades to their flagship gMax 1.5+ printers, like auto-leveling and dual-zone heated beds, have made the affordable large-format 3D printers even more desirable. gCreate’s commitment to keeping their manufacturing and headquarters in Brooklyn certainly bodes well for the vibrant New York 3D printing community.