Istanbul-based 3dörtgen, pronounced ‘ooch-doort-gan’ in Turkish, is one of the most welcoming 3D printing experiences I have had. Largely due to the fact that the company is, at least partly, also a fully functioning coffee shop. I initially thought that the entire business was run out of this coffee shop, due to the multitude of different 3D printers and 3D printed objects scattered around the shop. My thoughts were soon put straight when I found out that, actually, the company owns almost the entire building.
3dörtgen started as a concept store in 2013, which was “like a fab lab”, according to Furkan Demir, marketing specialist at 3dörtgen, where the company sold 3D printers, 3D printing services, design services, and, of course, coffee. When the company outgrew the ‘fab lab’ model, the founders – Furkan Bakır, Mustafa Vehbi Yavuz, and Mehmet Turker Aydemir – decided to ‘level up’ and split the company into 3dörtgen and Proboyut. With the 3dörtgen situated right above the coffee shop.
Proboyut still operates out of the 3dörtgen coffee shop and offers basic services – catering to a more amateur audience. In the coffee shop, people can discuss 3D printing, try the different entry-level, desktop 3D printers (from brands such as Anycubic, Creality, and Artillery), or simply get some fresh food, and great coffee – as I was surprised to see so many people from the different offices in the area were doing during lunchtime.
Whereas, from their showroom above, 3dörtgen to the demands of other businesses through the more professional 3D printing offerings. The company’s focus is the sale of 3D printers, scanners, and materials (stocking brands such as Ultimaker, Raise3D, BCN3D, Shining 3D, Fillamentum, Formlabs, Thor3D), where the company tends to follow a ‘try and buy’ model. However, it also offers rapid prototyping services, scanning services, modeling services, and general 3D printing services using these same machines.
3dörtgen’s biggest customers are companies from the automotive and defense industries, but manufacturers of household appliances, furniture, shoes, etc, also buy their printers and scanners from 3dörtgen to fulfill their prototyping needs. Some of these companies also create parts for end-use using these printers.
The two floors above the showroom are reserved for the sales and marketing team, technical support (where printers are repaired and maintained), and 3dörtgen’s production room – consisting of multiple different 3D printers.
When asked about some of the more unusual requests 3dörtgen has received in the past, we were told to imagine a couple sitting on a chair, hugging each other. The couple wanted to be scanned and printed into a 3D object – which 3dörtgen was able to do, in resin, and to the customer’s approval. Although this is a more novel example of the company’s capabilities, it does give a good insight into the potential of its offerings.
As of 2018, through two of the founders, Furkan and Turker, 3dörtgen has now expanded into the US market, Washington DC Metro Area specifically, under the name Archematerial Inc.
I came across another example of the type of project 3dörtgen is able to bring to life – while I was walking through the streets of Kadıköy, Istanbul, and noticed an unusual piece of street art. I saw that it was part of a project by Onaranlar Kulübü, a social enterprise that develops social benefit projects with a focus on producing, repairing, and sharing – often, the result of this focus is street art. The piece was designed by Mert Uğur Taşcı, and ‘represents the people of Kadıköy – a place where everyone lives in harmony, and is their own’, and was printed by non-other than 3dörtgen (using, I assume, the company’s Ultimaker Z-Unlimited).