New York City’s abundance of entrepreneurs, its spirited culture of so-called makers turning crafts into cash and its strong attraction for prospective employees made it a clear choice when Shapeways Inc. was deciding to move to the U.S.
But the 3-D printing services company also wanted to prove another point.
“You can make manufacturing local again,” said Pete Weijmarshausen, chief executive of the company, which was founded in the Netherlands and now has its headquarters in Manhattan and a factory in Long Island City, Queens.
Shapeways, which employs about 70 people at its factory, exemplifies the nature of New York City manufacturing today, where jobs have steadily been added over the past five years after a long slide.
“I think what we are seeing is not so much the growth of large-scale manufacturers who produce one or two goods,” said Maria Torres-Springer, chief executive of the New York City Economic Development Corp. “We are seeing a growth of smaller, more niche, more inventive types of companies.”