Additive manufacturer 3D Systems Inc. is investing $13 million to expand its headquarters operations in Rock Hill, S.C., by 100,000 square feet as it follows a plan to increase manufacturing and material development capabilities.
The expansion is expected to create 50 new jobs over the next five years at what it says is the largest U.S.-based company to provide end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions.
Co-founded by the inventor of 3D printing, Chuck Hull, 3D Systems is adding a customer center, training facility and new materials development labs in addition to bolstering manufacturing for metals and polymer components.
The goal is meet application challenges and help customers create new products and business models never before possible, according to a company news release.
The expansion will consolidate materials manufacturing, quality control and logistics operations with the expanded materials development labs to improve operational efficiencies, spur problem solving and reduce time to market, 3D Systems officials said.
"This expansion of our Rock Hill campus allows us to bring together key elements of the business to gain efficiencies, and to accelerate innovation and customer adoption of additive manufacturing on an industrial scale," 3D Systems President and CEO Jeffrey Graves said in the release.
Advanced materials are at the heart of 3D printing solutions, according to company officials, who point to their design and production of parts for medical implants, orthodontic aligners, space exploration, satellites, NASCAR, Formula 1racing and appliances.
"The combination of state-of-the-art facilities; renowned hardware, materials, and software; and our leadership in application knowledge will be a catalyst for us to take our innovation to new heights — providing additive manufacturing solutions for specific, high-value applications in growing markets," Graves said.
The expansion was announced last year as part of a restructuring and reorganization plan.
Founded in 1986, 3D Systems is credited with bringing 3D printing to the manufacturing industry/sector through Hull's 1983 invention of stereolithography.
The company now offers 3D printers, materials, software and services to customers in the health care and industrial markets, particularly the medical, dental, aerospace, defense, automotive and durable goods markets.
The expansion project is expected to be complete in early 2022.