Layoffs at 3D-Printing Company Signal More Trouble For Industry
3D Systems plans to cut around 80 jobs at its Andover, Mass., facility, marking another sign of trouble at the 3D-printing company.
In November, Fortune reported that 3D Systems planned a phased closure of its Andover facility as part of a move to consolidate manufacturing and research and development teams. At the time, a company spokesman said 3D Systems had offered to relocate some of the workers to other offices, but it was unclear how many—if any—would be laid off.
Yet according to the Boston Globe on Wednesday, 3D Systems sent a letter to Massachusetts regulators in October saying that 80 to 85 engineering and software employees would lose their jobs. Fortune asked 3D Systems whether those cuts represented all the employees at the Andover location, but it has yet to receive a response.
Headquartered in South Carolina, 3D Systems has more than 25 locations worldwide including 13 in the U.S. The Boston Globe‘s report noted that the Andover office will be closed by the end of June.
The layoffs are the latest in a year of tumult for the 3D-printing giant. Longtime CEO Avi Reichental stepped down in October, just after 3D Systems came out the loser in an $11 million arbitration decision. In 3D Systems’ latest quarterly earnings, investors learned that the company’s revenue declined 9% year-over-year and the company lost $32.2 million.
After several years of excitement over 3-D printing, the industry is experiencing something of a reset as questions arise about the technology’s complexities and slow adoption. As a result, 3D Systems has seen its share price (“DDD”) fall from its peak of $97.25 last year to $9.29 on Thursday.
Nonetheless, the long-term future of 3D-printing appears bright to industry observers. According to consulting firm Wohlers Associates, the global market for 3D-printing products and services is expected to grow from $5.5 billion this year to $21.2 billion by 2020.
For its own part, 3D Systems had hinted that layoffs would be coming. During its third quarter call with investors, 3D Systems’ chief financial and accounting officer David Styka said the company was taking “decisive steps to further reduce our cost structure,” which would “include additional facility consolidations and headcount reductions.”
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