IBJNews

Indy-based 3D printer lands incentives for expansion

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

State officials are offering $700,000 in economic development incentives to Indianapolis-based 3D Parts Manufacturing LLC based on its plans to expand and hire 65 workers by 2018.

Launched in January, 3D Parts Manufacturing has joined a recent surge in rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing operations known as 3D printers. In May, IBJ detailed the firm’s $725,000 startup and its plans to grow operations.

Those plans include investing $6 million to lease and equip 25,000 square feet of operations space and hiring 65 workers by 2018, when it expects to generate $20 million in annual revenue. 3D Parts Manufacturing is filling manufacturing and engineering positions.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the firm up to $625,000 in conditional tax credits and $75,000 in training grants based on job creation. The tax credits are performance-based, meaning they cannot be claimed until workers are hired.

“Manufacturing is a team sport,” said founder Kim Brand. “In a world accustomed to success stories in the software and services businesses, we want to make manufacturing cool again."

The firm is located at 1011 E. St. Clair St. downtown. Brand said Thursday morning that the company was hunting for a larger space.

The company produces metal, plastic and composite parts for the medical, aerospace, automotive, defense and plastic molding industries. The process works through selective laser sintering and Polyjet additive manufacturing technologies.

Rather than screwing and gluing parts together, operators plug digital designs into machines that shape plastic and metal powders from the bottom up, one microscopic level at a time. Several hours later, a prototype or part is ready for use.

Brand, who launched the company alongside his son, Adam Brand, and longtime business associate, Alan Michel, likened 3D printing’s potential to the microprocessor boom that gave rise to the personal computer.

“There’s going to be this revolution, and I believe it’s going to be very similar to when I graduated college in 1975,” said Brand, whose career has mostly focused on information technology, including running two IT companies. “We were handed this technology, microprocessors. We didn’t really have any notion of what would happen.”

The technology in 3D printing has been around for close to 30 years. More than 100 companies already offer some form of the manufacturing service in Indiana, according to listings with Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

But recent attention has sped up its evolution, meaning demand will likely spike and costs will come down, said Tim Gornet, manager of Rapid Prototyping Center Operations at the University of Louisville.

"The big advantage that we’ve always had as a country, we tend to be early adopters of new technologies in the U.S.,” Gornet said. “So we’re willing to push the envelope. That’s something we need to take advantage of.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  2. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  3. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  4. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

  5. I live downtown Indy and had to be in downtown Chicago for a meeting. In other words, I am the target demographic for this train. It leaves at 6:00-- early but doable. Then I saw it takes 5+ hours. No way. I drove. I'm sure I paid 3 to 5 times as much once you factor in gas, parking, and tolls, but it was reimbursed so not a factor for me. Any business traveler is going to take the option that gets there quickly and reliably... and leisure travelers are going to take the option that has a good schedule and promotional prices (i.e., Megabus). Indy to Chicago is the right distance (too short to fly but takes several hours to drive) that this train could be extremely successful even without subsidies, if they could figure out how to have several frequencies (at least 3x/day) and make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. For those who have never lived on the east coast-- Amtrak is the #1 choice for NY-DC and NY-Boston. They have the Acela service, it runs almost every hour, and it takes you from downtown to downtown. It beats driving and flying hands down. It is too bad that we cannot build something like this in the midwest, at least to connect the bigger cities.

ADVERTISEMENT