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In 2013, the doors officially opened at Hawk 3D Proto, the 3D printing division of parent company Cutwel Limited, which supplies engineering cutting tools. The Yorkshire 3D printer retailer has a 3D printing bureau and a large showroom in the UK, but its main business is the sale of 3D printers and 3D printing materials. The company is a distributor for Zortrax and WASP, among several other well-known names in the industry, and just two years ago designed an interactive e-commerce website to increase customer experience.

That’s why I am saddened to tell you today that the company is now officially closing its doors.

In an email, Hawk 3D Proto’s CEO and founder Ben Hawksworth told 3DPrint.com, “I am writing to inform you that very soon my 3D Printing company will be closing.”

The company has a dedicated YouTube channel, and Hawksworth frequently creates and uploads video blogs, or vlogs, to the channel. The latest ‘Vlog with Ben’ episode was posted today, with a rather telling title of “It Is The End of An Era.”

“So as the title goes, it’s with great sadness that I have to tell you that Hawk 3D Proto will soon be closing,” Hawksworth says in the emotional video.

“I need to be kind of quite, I suppose serious, but be very open with you guys on what’s going on. It hasn’t been an easy decision, believe me.”

Ben Hawksworth [Image: Sarah Goehrke at TCT 2017 for 3DPrint.com]

This may come as a bit of a shock, as Hawksworth told 3DPrint.com in September that the company was “conscious of growing the brand and who we are.”

“We’ve been featured in national newspapers, we’ve done exhibitions, we’ve done blogs, we’ve been featured in videos and interviews and so on. It’s been more than amazing,” Hawksworth said in the video.

Hawksworth is not leaving the 3D printing world, however, so no fear there. While the business itself, along with its 2,500-square-foot showroom in Yorkshire, will be closing, Hawk 3D Proto is actually transitioning from a business to just Hawksworth himself.

“I really enjoy making videos. I’ve got an opportunity now to do some other stuff that I want to do,” Hawksworth said.

“So if there’s anybody that wants to kind of look to sponsor me as an individual, as a YouTuber, going forward, that is something that is available now.”

As Hawk 3D Proto was a business, sponsored YouTube videos were not a possibility before. But Hawksworth has been looking at the bigger picture of what he wants to do in life, and plans to devote much more time to YouTube videos now that he’s closing the business.

Hawksworth told 3DPrint.com, “I intend to carry on with 3D Printing and hope to continue to grow my YouTube channel along with other interests that I have, it is still a great passion of mine.”

For example, Hawksworth is a trained chef, as well as a recently qualified drone pilot. So in addition to his continued 3D printing projects, he could possibly add these skills into his popular videos as well. Hawksworth owns the trademark on the name Hawk 3D Proto, and will continue to use the handle @HAWK3DPROTO on all social media platforms and channels, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Already, Hawksworth has other 3D printing projects planned, like reviews and large prints, and has another video coming out soon about a big project he’s been working on. So while his last day with the company is next Friday, April the 13th (yes, he recognizes the irony), he’s certainly not disappearing from the industry.

“This isn’t the end, it’s actually the start of a fantastic new journey that I hope you’ll follow me on.”

Hawksworth expressed multiple times what a difficult decision it was to close down the business, but also reiterated that he’s simply beginning a new journey – one he hopes all of the company’s supporters will join him on. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled to the company’s website, as Hawk 3D Proto will soon be holding a huge closing sale to get rid of all of its stock.

What do you think of this news? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

 

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