Shapeways Moving Factory from Brooklyn to Detroit

By on July 13th, 2023 in news, Service

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Shapeways factory floor [Source: Crain’s]

Shapeways is on the move.

A story in Crain’s describes how 3D print service Shapeways is relocating their main North American factory from Brooklyn to the Detroit area.

Shapeways opened the factory in Brooklyn over ten years ago and when we visited it in 2013 there was plenty of room for expansion. However, as you can see in the top image, the company seems to have filled up the space.

Now they seem to be moving the operator to a large space in Livonia, a suburb of Detroit.

According to the report, the move will require US$1.9M in refits to prepare the 12,500sf factory floor, and then US$3.2M in equipment will be installed.

It’s not clear whether all or some of the machines from Brooklyn will be relocated to the new site, but at the very least there will be some new equipment when the smoke clears. There will be no equipment remaining at the Brooklyn site.

Why Detroit? It seems there are a number of reasons.

One reason is that apparently the local authorities provided Shapeways with a grant of US$375,000 to “”address the cost disadvantage of locating the project in Michigan when compared to the competing sites in New York and New Jersey.” This seems odd to me, as would not costs in NY and NJ be higher than a suburb of Detroit?

Another reason is that Shapeways already has some staff in the area at the Linear AMS plant at the same address where the factory will be located.

In addition, the site seems to be within walking distance of the local FedEx Ground station, which would perhaps optimize their ongoing shipments of 3D printed parts to customers.

Finally, it may be that Shapeways is optimizing their costs. The company has had challenging financials in recent periods, and it may be that consolidating operations can reduce costs. It is also possible that the company’s lease expired in Brooklyn, forcing the move.

Regardless of the reasons, I’m sure Shapeways will be able to maintain seamless services during the move. They’ll no doubt keep Brooklyn going until everything is set in Detroit, and then switch over.

Via Crain’s Detroit

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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