Large-format specialist Andesign is looking to bring a new dimension to event props, POS and museum displays after investing in large-scale 3D technology.
The Sutton Coldfield-based business has invested more than £500,000 in recent months as part of a strategic growth plan.
The lion's share of the spend, around £300,000, was dedicated to the Massivit 1800 3D printer. The machine, only the third business in the UK, went into its West Midlands base three weeks ago.
The spend also included some internal building works, a spray booth, an EFI H1625-SD for direct thermoforming printing and a Formech vacuum former.
Managing director Andy Williams said: “We like to approach things differently and the market for 2D machines is becoming saturated. We wanted to stay niche and control our margins.
“The [Massivit] kit is a great door opener and as the only one of its kind there were no rivals to match it against. It's in addition to our existing kit.”
Andesign has 38 staff and a turnover of £4m. Kit includes 5m-wide EFI Vutek machines and and the recently installed EFI H1625-SD. As part of a strategic growth plan, Williams hopes to add £2m to the turnover in three to five years.
The Massivit 1800, which can produce 3D models up to 1,470x1,170x1,800mm, uses patented gel-dispensing printing (GDP) technology and targets brands and businesses looking for eye-popping graphics, point-of-sale materials, theme park models, event props and museum displays.
Andesign will predominantly use the machine to create bespoke 3D displays, prototypes and end-use parts. The Massivit will also enable Andesign to produce cost-effective customised thermofolding moulds, said Williams.
The fact that it can print two different objects in parallel improves versatility and ease, according to Williams whose company was formed in 1996.
“The growing interest in the ability of high-quality 3D printed objects to promote brands and products confirms our decision to invest is the right one,” he said.
“This is the most impressive 3D printing technology. If we’re to remain an industry-leading digital-print graphics and signage specialist it’s important we put our money where our reputation is.
“I believe this new technology will help us grow our business significantly, with the target to increase turnover to £6m in three years, very much within reach.”