Four ex-Makerbot employees, Max Friefled, Oliver Ortlieb, Patrick Deem, and Jonathan Schwartz, have come together to create a Brooklyn-based rapid manufacturing system using – what else? – Makerbots. The group, called Voodoo Manufacturing raised $300,000 to build their 3D printing shop and are currently profitable, a testament to the power of making things quickly.
The company has 125 3D printers running in tandem and controlled by a central server. Jobs go in, are printed, and shipped out immediately. They have printed over 25,000 pieces so far for clients like Universal, Viacom, and Chipotle.
The core team built a 3D marketplace called Layer By Layer in 2014. Acquired by Makerbot soon after, they built a small version of Voodoo workshop and then decided to go into business for themselves.
“Our core mission is to empower people (makers/creators) of this world to go forth and make what you thought was impossible,” said Friefled. “We want to bridge the gap between the desktop 3D printer and the factories abroad. Voodoo was built for designers, innovators and entrepreneurs who are looking to bring their ideas to life and we aim to solve the problem of small-scale manufacturing. By making 3D printing a viable and effortless manufacturing solution, we want to help make people’s wildest dreams come to life.”
“Some people say that desktop 3D printers are not reliable enough to operate at this scale. At Voodoo, we disagree. We have achieved what others thought was impossible. Because we are a factory born from software, we can run our 127 printers with a single person.”
Voodoo isn’t the first company to go this route. A company called MakeXYZ allows you to source your parts locally by sending jobs to 3D printer owners and 3DPrinterOS networks multiple printers together for more efficient printing. Now that it’s gotten easier than ever to print 3D objects on the fly, however, it seems all comers will bring something valuable to the print surface.