Feb 4, 2016 | By Kira
Though we are used to hearing of 3D printing companies, innovations, and production centers popping up all over the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Taiwan, China, Spain and Canada, this week, 3D printing technology is covering new ground. 3D printing company Baltic3D has just opened the first-ever industrial 3D printing center within the Baltic States in the Latvian capital of Riga. The 3D printing center will be dedicated to the small-scale production of plastic products for both regional and international companies. The facility is equipped with nine advanced industrial 3D printers, including seven purchased from Stratasys.
Total investments into the industrial 3D printing facility totaled €500,000, of which €174,000 came from the Norwegian Financial Instrument administrated by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency. Baltic3D also took a loan from Citadele Banka, a Latvian bank and financial and asset manager.
The Baltic States include the three countries in northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Of the three, Latvia has experienced a particularly turbulent economy, going from the fastest growing economy in the European Union from 2004 until mid 2008, before being hit hard by the global financial crisis and falling into a recession. After 2011, however, the country found its footing once again, and its economy has—more or less—been on the rise. The capital city of Riga, where the new industrial 3D printing facility is located, is one of the key economic and financial centers of the Baltic States, and is thus a prime location for the burgeoning Baltic 3D printing industry to plant its roots.
“The newly-opened printing center already offers development of high-precision functioning prototypes, small-scale production of end products and assistance with optimization of existing production processes,” said Janis Jatnieks, head of Baltic3D. He added that prior to the industrial 3D printing facility’s inauguration, the 3D printing company’s primary customers were industrial companies who benefitted from the production value and cost reductions of additive manufacturing.
“3D printing technologies enable our customers to reduce costs compared with the conventional methods and to save money and time in creation of new products,” said Jatnieks. The new, high-tech industrial center will therefore allow them to continue providing this invaluable service to local companies on a much larger scale, while also reducing production and delivery times compared to foreign competitors. “With the opening of the new center, we are ready for rapid growth, and we hope that the availability of the technology will help to create a microclimate for more creative development of new products here in Latvia."
However, the company also intends to take advantage of its new facility to compete on the wider international market. Founded in 2013, Baltic3D already provides its 3D printing services to companies in the Baltics, Belarus, Poland and some Scandinavian countries.
Some of the Stratasys Production Series 3D printers used by Baltic3D
"We are very pleased with the cooperation with the bank Citadele, who believed our bold ideas, even though we are only a start-up company,” said Baltic3D representative Didzis Dejus. “We plan to become an example of that with high ambitions, based on good financial calculations can not only receive funding for growth, but also to become a major player in the region.”
Though the powerful economies of the US, Japan, Germany, and China will likely continue to rule the global 3D printing scene, however as 3D printing technology continues to expand to all corners of the earth, an increasing number of seemingly distant yet influential new entrants, such as the Baltic States, will certainly be worth keeping an eye on.
Posted in 3D Printing Service
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