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3D Systems leases 200,000 square-foot facility in Rock Hill to expand production

ROCK HILL A 200,000-square-foot facility in Rock Hill has been leased by 3D Systems to expand its manufacturing and distribution capacity to meet growing demand for 3-D printers and materials.

The new center is part of the company’s previously announced $10 million expansion, which is expected to generate up to 145 jobs during the next five years, according to an application for job development credits with the S.C. Department of Commerce.

The lease will allow 3D Systems to move the manufacturing and distribution of 3-D printers from 3D System’s Waterford Business Park site and use the Waterford space to expand its research and development operations.

“Our continued Rock Hill expansion underscores our commitment to localized manufacturing, demonstrating through our actions that what is designed locally can be built locally,” Avi Reichental, president and CEO of 3D Systems, said in a news release. “This investment is in direct response to the growing demand for our professional printers.”

Mark Farris, executive director of York County Economic Development, said 3D Systems’ decisions “is a good indicator that we can recruit and sustain technology-oriented companies. This bodes well for us.”

Farris recently accepted a job at Greenville County Economic Development.

In the fall of 2013, 3D Systems announced its expansion plans. At the time, York County Council extended tax breaks for the company based on an expected $10.9 million in investment. According to a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement, 3D Systems would complete the expansion by 2018. The employees’ average salaries would be $35,000.

Officials with the York County Economic Development Corp. believe 3D Systems has leased space in south Rock Hill off Marine Drive near Interstate 77. Officials with 3D Systems could not confirm the location.

The new warehouse and distribution facility should be operational during the first quarter of 2015. The company is accepting job applications at its website, www.3dsystems.com/careers.

In 2006, 3D Systems moved its headquarters to Rock Hill. The company develops and builds computer-controlled 3-D printers, which precisely apply soft or hard plastics, or reinforced composite materials, to create objects. The company is one of the nation’s fastest-growing technology firms, listed fourth on Forbes’ list and fifth on Fortune’s. Sales top $354 million annually, and the company is worth $5.4 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. Its sales have increased 46 percent during the past three years.

A 3-D innovation and learning center, which 3D Systems recently opened in Rock Hill, was designed to showcase the growing impact of its advanced manufacturing technology in applications such as aerospace, automotive, medical, education and the 3D-printed lifestyle.

The company also recently announced two major deals: the acquisition of Laser Reproductions of Columbus, Ohio, a provider of advanced manufacturing product development and engineering services, and a collaboration with fashion brand United Nude to deliver a new line of 3D-printed wearable shoes. The “Float” shoes are designed for home printing on the Cube3 desktop 3D printer.

On Tuesday, 3D Systems’ stock traded at $48.69 a share on the New York Stock Exchange.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066
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