When Shapeways was founded in 2007, very few people, perhaps not even its three founders, could truly envision how the company would have evolved. Even those who understood back then the potential of AM, to become a democratizing, distributed manufacturing technology, could foresee how that long-term vision was going to be realized. Now that Shapeways has grown into a multi-million-dollar public company, and will receive $100 million from going public via a merger with SPAC Galileo Acquisition Corp, to invest in further scaling its global operations, it’s time to ask what is going to happen next. And who better to ask than Greg Kress, the company’s CEO, who has a very clear idea of how Shapeways will leverage its unique position, in global additive mass production, distributed and on-demand manufacturing, to ignite the next phase of growth.
“It’s not just about the specific AM technologies that we are able to use,” Greg begins. “I have been with the company since 2018 but Shapeways had already done incredibly well in investing over a hundred million dollars in CaPEx to build a powerful manufacturing footprint. What the company did realize very quickly is that it is very challenging to have low volume production with good economics, so they began to build an incredible digitized end-to-end manufacturing process. The software that they built controls the ordering process, file corrections, back and forth communication, customers, and all the automated routing associated with both our internal manufacturing and our outsourced manufacturing. We can handle all the pre-production capabilities using software to make all of these decisions.”
This digital infrastructure allowed Shapeways to produce over 21 million parts to date and implement a wide range of capabilities with optimal KPIs, 99% percent on-time delivery and a less than one percent complaint rate. All this considering that the company is typically delivering directly to the end customer. So while the top 250 customers represent 60% of revenues the company is delivering to a multitude of different clients. These capabilities, even beyond the ability to offer a multitude of different AM technologies are what Kress believes makes for Shapeways’ winning proposition as the merger with Galileo Acquisition is completed.
Read the full, 1,500-words, interview on 3dpbm’s AM Focus 2021 eBook on AM Service Providers. Free to view online or download, no registration required.