expanding production facilities

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by victorrings, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. victorrings
    victorrings Well-Known Member
    a thought occurred to me the other day when i was pondering the fact that i am going to have to wait a whole month for my order to come in- what is the time table for further expansion of Shapeways production facilities. it occurred to me that in those thoughts that maybe the creation of Shapeways first non European production facility being in NEW YORK might not be the best idea. i came to this idea with 2 reasons: price and shipping.
    there is a great deal of overhead when dealing with working in NEW YORK... form the higher cost of living to the inclusion of a state income tax.
    even though, i am sure, UPS takes care of the shipping network, there has to be some sort of discount for shipping a product to and from the middle of the country as opposed to the extreme east coast.

    with that being said...i can definitely understand the reasoning behind choosing NEW YORK as the first foray into the American production facilities. not least of which is exposure. there is no place on earth that will get more attention than NEW YORK.

    now i would like to make a proposal for the future expansion of production facilities... 4 options in fact that might be considered to balance the facility in NEW YORK. starting in the North and heading south:

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-
    pro: centrally located for shipping (there is a large UPS shipping hub in the city), low taxes, low cost of living.
    con: low profile, lack of trained workforce

    Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas-
    pro: centrally located, large number of inexpensive facilities available, lower cost of living, No state income tax, large metropolitan area, larger base of trained workforce.
    con: all of the drawbacks of living in suburban sprawl.

    Austin, Texas
    pro: centrally located, expanding metropolitan area ripe for emerging technologies and cutting edge creativity, large and varied workforce, tremendous growth potential.
    con: emerging signs of big city problems

    pro: centrally located for the Americas, super low production and facility costs, steady workforce, growth potential
    con: lack of trained workforce, potential for civil unrest, unreliable shipping solutions

    alright... that is my proposal. i would love to hear thoughts on what i wrote and maybe even alternate ideas on the way you think Shapeways should proceed. maybe even more global expansion... imagine if Shapeways expanded into JAPAN or CHINA... that would be totally cool...
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    +200 for Dallas <grin>
    And there's no real need to deal with suburban sprawl here. There are plenty of available (and cheaper) buildings much closer to the 'burbs. You don't HAVE to operate downtown.

    Come on down ya'll!
  3. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Is shipping really the time-determining step ? I would rather expect it to be sheer capacity, as the printing process itself is slow.
    Also I doubt that the US are that promising a market to warrant locating more production sites there - for global coverage, my bet is on sheepways.nz :)
  4. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    I suppose the reasoning was that if the guys have to move to the US, they want to live in New York. It would have made sense to locate in Omaha, but you don't change the world by making sense. (Our thesis is that you change it by having fun.)

    Or by being China. The whole thing is going to change again when this hits China.

    I agree that shipping may not really be the problem. 3DP isn't currently well adapted to banging out a lot of parts fast. The trouble is that you want the machines to run 24-7 to get your investment out of them, but they have fixed capacity. So you end up splitting the difference between "enough capacity to handle busy times" and "idle machines at other times", and backlogs become business as usual. This isn't a complaint: it's just the way things are with fixed throughput and bursty workload.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  5. victorrings
    victorrings Well-Known Member
    BUT... in Dallas- the girls are sooo much prettier!

    yes... China and Japan are the traditional progression of how technologies flow- but 3d printing is unique. it doesn't necessarily benefit greatly by having a huge, well educated, dedicated workforce. this is the major advantage for China. my hypothesis is that increasing production only increases workforce by a fraction.

    so what can be done?
    price control what you can. shipping, labor costs, and efficiency are all aspects of the process that can be improved upon.

    as for where in the world this process is going- it all starts in the AMERICAs without a doubt. you sell it to America and everyone else will follow suit.

  6. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    There's also the fact that while the U.S. is not central geometrically, it is central economically. I think it'd be a lot easier to ship worldwide from New York than it would to ship from Mexico.