Eplus3D, a Chinese-based metal 3D printer manufacturer, recently announced that it is moving its headquarters to a 23,000 m2 state-of-the-art building in Hangzhou. The larger building will allow the company to increase its capacity for research & development, production, and marketing and sales, as well as the potential to expand business domestically and abroad.
3DPrint.com has previously reported on China’s desire to usher in an era of stability and wealth by becoming economically independent. To do this, it has been investing heavily into Chinese-grown talent in addition to emerging sectors, such as additive manufacturing (AM). China sees how quickly those technologies are being adopted, and wants to establish itself as a global hub for innovation.
Out of all its investments, one of the more successful AM ventures has been Eplus3D. The company was founded in 2014 and is best known for its metal 3D printers. While Eplus3D began selling printers that were eerily similar to those from more established brands, the firm’s business model evolved towards building, designing, and manufacturing sophisticated 3D printers for both the Chinese and foreign markets.
That switch in business models has panned out, and Eplus3D has started to prove itself as a player in the AM field. It already has printers at British Steel, and other companies in the aerospace, dental, and railway industries.
With this growth, it’s not surprising Eplus3D quickly outgrew its shell. The firm needed to find a larger place that would allow it to broaden its business ventures. Otherwise, it risked stagnating and not aiding China’s goal of becoming a global hub for 3D printing.
The company ultimately found its new home in the 23,000 m2 Hangzhou building, equipped with all of the bells and whistles. This includes Eplus 3D printers—an EP-M650 with quad lasers, an EP-M450H, an EP-M260, an EP-M300, and an EP-M150)—along with space to house its burgeoning teams, and a new showroom. Eplus3D seems poised to continue to widen its reach and now has the facilities to do so.
But will it? We don’t know yet.
There have been genuine questions raised about Eplus3D’s part reliability and its adoption as a younger company. In addition, it still must compete against more established brands, and answer questions about national security as its products are sold internationally. While past collaborations have shown promise, time will ultimately tell if the company succeeds or not.
If Eplus3D continue building reliable, high-volume, lower-cost printers, it may be competing with Velo3D, 3D Systems, and EOS sooner rather than later. It’s a competitive market that is increasingly being filled by other manufacturers. Lower cost equipment could give Eplus3D traction to ingrain itself in the market more. Based on how Eplus3D has developed in the past eight years, and with the backing of the Chinese government, we wouldn’t discount the company making that leap. In that case, Eplus3D might need to start scouting its next building move now because it might outgrow this 23,000 m2 shell quicker than even the company’s team may think.
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