A few weeks ago I visited the headquarters of Formlabs in Somerville, Mass. where I had the pleasure of meeting the entire team in their small – but growing – workshop. There I saw a repair bay, research room, and even a molecular lab where materials scientists are hard at work making new solutions for the company’s unique SLA printer.
When I first met the guys from Formlabs, David Cranor, Natan Linder, Maxim Lobovsky, they were working out of MITs Media Lab and were getting ready to launch their successful Kickstarter push. Now, $19 million in funding later, the team is expanding and moving into a few more floors in their already crowded HQ. The floor we visited is where some broken Form 1s go to die and where the designers who make the hardware are busy churning out new models.
The team has created a culture of making. By staying lean in their early years and focusing on design and aesthetics even as they built some of the coolest 3D tech in the business, they were able to capture the imaginations of backers as well as the interest of designers who might have been put off by clunky plastic extrusion machines back in the early 2010s. Now, they’re the undisputed kings of stereolithographic printing and they’re doing really well.
Lobovsky is set on staying in Boston and he believes some of the best hardware is coming out of the East Coast. I’d tend to agree.
Enjoy this episode of TC Makers and we’ll see you next time!