Shapeways, a 3D printing community and marketplace, detailed their plans to bring manufacturing back to New York City with their "Factory of the Future," a new 3D printing facility being built in Long Island City. Currently under construction, the facility is en route to becoming the biggest consumer-facing 3D printing manufacturing facility in the world, with the potential to 3D print three to five million unique products a year on high-end, industrial size printers.
At 25,000 square feet, the expansive facility will house between 30 to 50 industrial-size 3D printers and create as many as 50 manufacturing jobs in a year's time.
"We're doing something that's never been done before. We are manufacturing, post-processing, cleaning, sorting, and shipping thousands of unique items on a daily basis right here in New York," said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO and co-Founder. "Why make things overseas and then ship them here? Let's make things local again."
The factory is set to be fully operational in January 2013 and will be open for tours. Build out plans include the addition of state of the art 3D printers, including EOS laser sintering (LS), ProJet UV-cured acrylic resin printing, and ZCorp full-color printing, some of which can make up to 1,000 objects in a day. There will also be a Shapeways Lab dedicated to research and development of new materials, post-production techniques and community experimentation.
Weijmarshausen added, "It was only a few years ago that we started 3D printing in the Netherlands with one machine. Now, we have over 7,000 Shapeways Shop Owners running their business on our platform, nearly 200,000 users making unique products come to life, and a team of 60 employees making this vision a reality. We're excited to be able to open our doors to the public here in New York and show people the infinite possibilities 3D Printing enables."
Mayor Bloomberg was on site at the facility for the ribbon cutting ceremony and stated, "New York City, the center of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, is a natural home for Shapeways, and we look forward to seeing what kinds of exciting products and quality jobs they can create."
Shapeways also announced its support of the NYC Economic Development Coalition's rapid prototyping initiative and New York's Next Top Makers competition, helping entrepreneurs bring their innovative products to market.
"The Factory of the Future builds on New York's proud tradition of manufacturing excellence by creating the jobs of tomorrow starting today," said Empire State Development president, CEO & commissioner Kenneth Adams. "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, high-tech, cutting-edge companies, like Shapeways, are choosing to bring their business and jobs to New York."