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3D Systems in Rock Hill, SC, Leads in 3-D Printing

Based in Rock Hill, S.C., 3D Systems pioneered additive printing and is a global leader in bringing 3D printing to the masses.

By Alicea Jones on August 19, 2015

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte / Michael Conti

From custom prototypes to medical devices, 3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing. In Rock Hill, S.C., 3D Systems is leading the way through innovative rapid prototyping and 3-D printing technology. 3D Systems provides a range of printing-centric design-to-manufacturing solutions including 3-D printers, print materials and cloud sourced on-demand custom parts in materials including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles.

Chuck Hall founded the company in 1986 in Valencia, Calif., and invented the stereolithography (SLA) rapid prototyping system printing. SLA works by making solid objects by successively “printing” thin layers of an ultraviolet-curable material one on top of the other. The company has 1,700 patents and offers 120 material sets and seven different machine engines to meet growing demand for 3-D printing. In 2007, the company moved to Rock Hill in York County, drawn by a lower cost of doing business, significant investment and tax benefits, and access to Charlotte USA’s international airport and collection of high-caliber higher education institutions, Hall says. In October 2013, the company announced it was investing $10 million to expand its Rock Hill location.

Today, 3D Systems employs more than 1,000 people in 25 offices worldwide, and through acquisitions, the company has developed a strong and growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. 3D Systems manufactures stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS) 3-D jet printer systems, and fused deposition modeling (FDM) printing systems. Each technology takes digital input from 3-D data to create 3-D parts through the additive, layer-by-layer manufacturing process. 3D Systems is working to further commercialize 3-D printing technology, bringing it to the factory floor, to the desktop and to the home. The company offers a range of products, from the first professional full-color plastic 3-D printer to the latest version of its consumer grade 3-D printer, the sub-$1,000 generation cube.

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