3D Printing Grows in Brooklyn
Bre Pettis, former CEO “Working with ITAC has been great. Having a go to person to bounce ideas off of has been great and allowed us to save both time and money.”
MakerBot Industries is an open source manufacturing facility based in Brooklyn, New York which produces and assembles 3D printers. These printers transform virtual 3D objects into real 3D objects through an automated process that lays down thin layers of molten plastic in the desired configuration. Even though 3D printing technology has existed for decades, MakerBot’s in-house R&D department has brought the cost of these machines down to less than one-tenth the traditional costs, making it extremely affordable to a range of clients: from hobbyists to engineers, with a wide scope of design applications. The company is based in Brooklyn, New York. When ITAC first worked with MakerBot – in 2010 – they had 6 employees. They currently employ over 600 people.
Like many start-up companies, MakerBot knew they had a revolutionary product but needed a low cost supply chain in order to maintain their cost price points. MakerBot needed to identify a local and enhanced supply chain and assistance in commercializing its 3-D printers.
MakerBot worked with ITAC’s Manufacturer-in-Residence to accomplish these goals. The Project involved the following:
- Help MakerBot build profitable growth through a series of improvements initiatives, including identifying new growth opportunities;
- Optimize the production process on the shop floor, and streamlining the process;
- Identify proper supply and manufacturing networks, including management of vendor and supplier relationships.
The project helped MakerBot identify and build relationships among local and new suppliers. The project also led to Lean recommendations for their operational process that reduced production cycle times and reduced the inventory on hand. This enabled the company to increase sales and grow the workforce from 6 to 31 within a year of the project. They now employ over 600 people.