In an era where workforce adjustments and corporate restructuring have become more frequent, especially in light of challenges posed by the pandemic, the nuances of each situation are essential. Formlabs, a prominent player in the 3D printing industry, recently made the difficult decision to let go of a number of its employees. But the context surrounding this decision is essential to understand the full picture.
While it’s true that Formlabs parted ways with 14 people, it’s equally important to highlight that these layoffs account for less than 2% of the company’s total workforce. Unlike many other companies in recent headlines, Formlabs’ decision wasn’t part of a larger wave of layoffs, explained a company source to 3DPrint.com. Throughout this year, the firm has added over 100 new team members across the organization and, as of now, is actively recruiting for 65 positions across all divisions, with a particular focus on its R&D team. The open roles span areas such as engineering, software, materials, and global sales and services. Many of these opportunities are based in Somerville, Massachusetts, but there are also listings in Wisconsin, the Asia Pacific region, and in Europe, specifically in Germany and Hungary
Formlabs has been open about its decision, with a spokesperson emphasizing the company’s position: “We routinely inspect every part of the organization to make sure the roles we have best support our customers and enable us to deliver great products. In rare circumstances, this means that we make the difficult decision to part ways with a small number of colleagues in areas that are below our efficiency goals. At the same time, as Formlabs continues to grow and lead in the additive market, we are continuing to hire into new roles across all divisions and geographies throughout the year.”
The layoffs cannot be overlooked in the current market climate. Yet, based on the information available, Formlabs seems to be holding its ground in the industry. Having achieved a valuation of $2 billion in 2021, along with an impressive funding history totaling $253.7 million across nine rounds — including the latest $150 million Series E round — Formlabs continues to establish its prominence in the 3D printing arena. Like many in the industry, it is standard practice for firms to assess the productivity and efficiency of their workforce periodically.
For additional context on Formlabs’ financial position, it’s worth noting that the company is backed by over 20 investors, including prominent names like SoftBank Vision Fund and Vintage Investment Partners. Boasting a team of over 800, Formlabs has not only achieved significant valuation but has also continued its innovation in the 3D printing domain, introducing new categories of hardware, software, and materials. Its commitment, particularly in the healthcare domain, is noteworthy. The deployment of over 100,000 machines worldwide, with 30,000 dedicated to healthcare, suggests an impact on the industry.
Gaurav Manchanda, Director of Medical Market Development at Formlabs, recently shed light on the company’s market positioning, emphasizing affordability without compromising quality. The brand’s 3D printers, priced at a fraction of its competitors, have gained attention from a wide range of industries, from R&D teams to mainstream medical technology manufacturers.
And for those who love picking out film set details, Formlabs isn’t just restricted to the industrial domain. Its 3D printers have shown up on the sets of many Marvel Cinematic Universe films and series, like Hank Pym’s workshop in Ant-Man, Bruce Banner’s lab in She-Hulk, and Jane Foster’s lab in Thor: Love and Thunder. As well as in the 2021 Netflix production Red Notice, In the most recent reboot of Charlie’s Angels, and at least eight Form 1 3D printers propped up in a Black Mirror episode.
While Formlabs has seen steady growth and continues to make strides in the industry, it’s essential to shed light on the broader context. Over the course of the year, there has been a small trickle of layoffs at the company, with the most recent cut affecting 14 individuals, as confirmed by the business. This trend isn’t isolated to Formlabs; the manufacturing landscape, especially in 3D printing, has been turbulent.
Many professionals have taken to platforms like LinkedIn to express their sudden layoffs, highlighting a widespread challenge in the sector. In fact, other companies like AMT, Beehive Industries, Essentium, and 3D Systems have also experienced layoffs in 2023. We’ve been closely monitoring and reporting on these changes, highlighting the importance of showing every aspect of this industry. As companies like Formlabs navigate these challenges with strategic decisions, it’s crucial to view such moves in the broader context of a rapidly evolving sector.