Advanced MaterialsMaterials

3DXTech expands into larger Michigan facility

Matt Howlett's advanced filament company growing over 200% YoY

3DXTech, one of the most interesting companies in the 3D printing filaments industry, is moving into a new, 10 times larger facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan – Plastic News first reported. From the very beginning of its 4-year history, 3DXTech stood out as a manufacturer of high-performance 3D printing materials and 3D printed parts.

The company founded by Matt Howlett 4-years ago is currently based out of a 6,000-square-foot leased facility in Byron Center (MI). 3DXTech now bought the 68,000-square-foot building for more than $2 million to accommodate current and future growth.

“We’ve had about 200-250 percent growth year over year for the last four years,” Matt told us when we met at the recent IMTS. “We’re working 12-hour shifts, six days a week, right now just trying to keep up with orders, so we had to expand. This place is really going to be nice,” he added. “The whole goal is to have a very nice, modern place that’s focused really exclusively on additive manufacturing — both materials and parts manufacturing.”

3DXtech new facility

The company plans to be completely moved into the new facility in October and will initially occupy 24,000 square feet. A 3,000-square-foot area will be dedicated to 3D printing parts. The rest is to grow into as the business continues to grow. When 3DXTech began operations it immediately focused on high-end polymers and composites, offering PEEK, PEI (ULTEM) and PEKK materials as well as several types of carbon nanotubes, carbon fiber and glass fiber composite filaments. Now the market is starting to really catch up, with several systems now able to support high-temp extrusion.

3DXTech currently employs 10 persons, but Howlett said that the time has come to significantly scale up operations. At the current rate of growth, he estimates that in a couple of years the company could employ as many as 50 workers. In addition, 3DXTech is now more than doubling its extrusion capacity, having invested more than $1 million in equipment and upgrades to keep up with the growth rate.

“We already purchased all-new extruders from a company here in the US, and one of them was delivered this week,” Howlett told us, noting additional equipment purchases such as 3D printers, dryers and lasers to test materials and extrusion lines. 3DXTech supplies its high-performance 3D printing materials and printed parts to multiple industries such as automotive, electronics and aerospace. High profile customers include NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Nike, Samsung and Apple.

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Davide Sher

Over the last decade Davide has built up extensive experience as both a technology journalist and communications consultant. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook. He is a senior analyst for US-based firm SmarTech Publishing focusing on the additive manufacturing industry. He founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. which specialises in media and communications services for the 3DP and AM industry, through which he runs 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, as well as two editorial websites, 3D Printing Media Network and Il Replicatore.

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