Today, Meta announced one of the largest collective redundancies in the history of the new digital technology industry – over 11,000 employees are expected to lose their jobs in the near future. This information appeared a week after Elon Musk announced the dismissal of approximately 3.7 thousand Twitter employees. The recession on global markets is starting to take a heavy toll and it turns out that unfortunately it does not bypass the 3D printing industry. So far, the worrying news comes mainly from the USA – in the last dozen or so weeks, companies such as Desktop Metal, Carbon, Nexa3D have announced job cuts, and now there is more bad news – the bankruptcy petition was announced by Fast Radius, a service company listed on the American stock exchange, On the other hand, the provider of .STL file repair tools on-line – MakePrintable, definitely shuts down its service, completely changing its business profile.

Desktop Metal – until recently the highest valued company in the 3D printing industry, has already announced its second job cuts in less than five months. In mid-June 2022, the company announced layoffs of 12% of the workforce, and now the portal reports that more employees of the company had to say goodbye to their jobs. The reason is, on the one hand, the specter of a recession in the global industry, and on the other, problems with the rapid adaptation of the flagship metal 3D printing technology – Binder Jetting, by customers. The latter issue is a very long and complex topic, which boils down to the difficulty of obtaining the high dimensional accuracy to which users of CNC milling machines are accustomed, and the inability to fulfill the promises made by the company to investors. Nevertheless, no matter which reasons prevail – the fact is Desktop Metal has to fire people again…

The next company on the list is Xerox. In early October, Elem Additive Division – the 3D printing division of the American concern, also began mass layoffs. The company was founded in 2019 as a result of the acquisition of the startup Vader Systems. Vader’s technological process involves melting metal wire in a ceramic crucible before using an electromagnetic force to project the molten metal onto a moving build plate and create 3D objects layer by layer. Despite the announcement in 2021 of the first implementations at customers – already under the Xerox flag, this business continued to generate losses and at the moment is in a kind of suspension. As reported by

On September 30, Xerox curtailed Elem Additive 3D’s operations and currently focuses solely on servicing current installations. (…) the developed (…) model of the innovation studio allows us to quickly determine which businesses we will develop with and which we are reducing. It was a difficult but necessary decision. We are working to minimize the impact on those affected and will provide assistance during the transition period for those affected.

Unfortunately, subsequent job cuts did not help Fast Radius – a large American company providing 3D printing services, listed on NASDAQ. Yesterday the company announced that it had filed for bankruptcy (called Chapter 11 Bankruptcy). Fast Radius uses a large fleet of expensive, industrial Carbon and HP (MJF) 3D printers. It was founded in 2014 at the UPS shipping and logistics facility in Louisville, Kentucky. This provided her with an excellent worldwide shipping center for manufactured parts, initiating the idea of ​​3D printing as a key element in maintaining the supply chain.

By February 2022, Fast Radius had approximately $ 8 million in cash accounted for, but following a IPO following a merger with ECP Environmental Growth Opportunities Corp. this gave the company an additional $ 70 million. Unfortunately, the debut took place at the beginning of the global recession, which did not improve its condition. In June this year, Fast Radius laid off 20% of its employees, and this month it made 38 jobs, representing 17% of its current workforce. How did the company burn so much money in such a short time? This is how Lou Rassey, CEO and co-founder of Fast Radius explains it?

Fast Radius has invested over $ 200 million in the first Cloud Manufacturing platform. Like cloud computing, we provide a platform of software tools and manufacturing solutions that help engineers design and produce commercial-grade parts for a $ 360 billion market. Since 2020, we have served over 2,000 production customers and 23,000 software users.

Fast Radius is currently looking for a buyer for its assets and it must achieve this later this year. According to the editor-in-chief of – Joris Peel, unfortunately the current financial climate is bad for struggling start-ups …

The last company that failed to cope with the economic slowdown in the 3D printing sector is MakePrintable. The startup made its debut in 2017 with the mission of providing an easy and effective method of repairing damaged 3D files. At that time, it was quite common, because the generated and shared .STL files require from its creator relevant experience and knowledge in the field of technological nuances occurring in 3D printing.

Unfortunately, as reported by Fabbaloo, MakePrintable is terminating:

Please be advised that MakePrintable closes its service on 12/31/2022. The dashboard, models, apps, workflows, G-code reverse, Dicom converter, 3D printing materials, plugins and API will no longer be available. If you want to transfer your models to another service, please download your 3D models from My Models before 12/31/2022.

Where did this decision come from? It seems that the team decided that it has already reached the limit of profitability of its business and has decided to move on to other projects:The team that pursued this highly ambitious mission becomes part of something even bigger – the company that is building the first Integral Co-Reality platform to re-introduce the world into its physical self: Integral Reality Labs.

Whatever that might mean, it is definitely not related to 3D printing anymore.

As you can see, the crisis does not bypass innovative companies from the additive manufacturing sector, brutally verifying their plans and expectations. So far, the largest companies on the market that have been creating it since the 90s (such as 3D Systems, Stratasys, EOS or Materialize) do not announce any reduction of employees, however, young and dynamically developing companies face incomparably greater challenges …


Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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