An architectural model of King's Cross by Hobs Studio
Though the TCT offices are based in the North West of England, other additive manufacturing and 3D printing outfits remain relatively scant. Considering how often 3D printing is termed “The Next Industrial Revolution” and that the North West is considered the home of the original industrial revolution it is a sad state of affairs that the region is being left behind.
Hobs Reprographics are trying to bring the region up to speed that as they open a £250k ($400k, €300) 3D printing hub in central Manchester. The firm, which originates from 36 miles down the Ship Canal (or 33 miles down the M62 depending on what century you’re from) in Liverpool, has opened the hub today in response to the growing demand from engineers, architects and various designers for 3D printing technology in the city.
Hobs Reprographics made their money and their established name in the 2D printing business but branched out into three-dimensional services in July of this year. The reaction and business the firm has had to the technology in their London office has been so great that it is continuing to expand into a new Northern Quarter site that the firm acquired back in January this year.
Hobs Studio will not only be a 3D printing bureau but act as a reseller of 3D Systems machines. The current in-store service includes 3D printing on a ZPrinter 650 as well as laser scanning and a 3D visualisation service.
Hobs Reprographics chief executive, Kieran O’Brien, said: "The launch of Hobs Studio will bring huge benefits to designers, architects and product developers who need to produce 3D models. With our new hub, 3D models can be produced right at the beginning of a development, complete with internal 3D models and landscaping if required, saving clients valuable time and money."
In order to make a success of this new studio Hobs have appointed one of Britain’s foremost model makers to run the hub. Andrew Conley, who worked on the new Wembley Stadium, said: “I am looking forward to combining my knowledge of traditional model making with the speed and efficiency of 3D printing to draw on the best of both worlds in 3D modelling.”
Hopefully this £250,000 investment in the region will prove to be a catalyst for a return in the industrial power that was the North West in the 20th century. And not just because it would make TCT site visit journeys a lot shorter...