The Hobs Group, an association of four businesses including Hobs Studio – “the largest 3D printing bureau in the UK”, has acquired an additional £4 million capitol investment from the UK’s £2.5 billion Business Growth Fund (BGF).
The money adds to a prior £7 million contributed to the Hobs Group by BGF in 2014.
Sites behind “the largest 3D printing bureau in the UK”
Since opening its first Manchester site in the same year as BGF’s investment, Hobs’ 3D printing arm Hobs Studio has grown across the country with sites in London, Bristol and Glasgow.
Later this year, the firm plans to open a fifth facility in East London. James Duckenfield, Hobs Group CEO, comments, “BGF were happy with the first investment and the 3D business has grown well,”
Duckenfield continues, “it [Hobs Studio] will grow from £3.5m to £5m this year – and we will shortly be opening the new facility for 3D printing as we’ve run out of capacity at our existing location.”
Neil Inskip, the BGF representative on the board of Hobs Group, backs up this statement saying, “Hobs is at the forefront of innovation in the 3D and specialist document related services and has experienced solid growth since our investment.”
Going big in architecture
Promising the capability to accommodate “all forms of rapid prototyping,” 3D printing services at Hobs Studio include full color, SLA and multi jet technologies. In a view of branch’s portfolio, architectural projects form the majority of Hobs Studio’s clientele.
In one of the most recent projects, Hobs unveiled the “UK’s largest 3D printed master plan model.” Created for the planned housing renovation of Barking Riverside in London, the model measured 3.6m x 2.6m x 1m (L x W x H) and was made on a 3D Systems iPro 9000 XL SLA 3D printer.
Business in “secret and top secret work”
Hobs’ other businesses include Hobs On-Site management, Anexsys legal services and Hobs Repro, which provides traditional graphics printing services and is planning to provide AI enhanced bid management systems.
Commenting on the success of Anexsys, Duckenfield says, “We’ve developed some very nice IP in Anexys which we’re in the process of patenting, and a couple of months ago we won seven of the nine lots available in a major government framework for eDiscovery, including secret and top secret work,”
“The other two companies on the panel for that particular lot are KPMG and PA Consulting so I think that, for our size business, we are punching above our weight.”
BGF was set up by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. As of November 2016, the firm has invested almost half of its £2.5 billion offering to small and medium enterprises across the UK.
Featured image: Miniature architectural model made by Hobs Studio. Photo via Hobs Studio on Twitter.