I had the chance to meet with Shon Anderson, CEO of B9Creations, the rapidly growing DLP manufacturer based in Rapid City, South Dakota. We met in London, at the iMakr Desktop 3D Printing Show on the 3rd of March 2016. Shon is an experienced manager with an outstanding track record. He joined B9Creations 18 months ago to help with structuring the company and growing the business worldwide. It was the first time Shon had the opportunity to visit iMakr. With its ideal location at the heart of the London jewellery district, iMakr store is a strategic partner for B9Creations.
B9Creations Vision: Turning 3D Printing into Value Today
When Mike Joyce founded B9Creations in 2004, he was already a seasoned manager, having been a US Air Force pilot and a software engineer before. It took a few years before Mike decided, in 2011, to focus the company entirely on manufacturing DLP 3D printers. He started with robots before launching 2 very successful Kickstarters campaign in 2012 and 2013. During the two campaigns, Mike sold and delivered over $750,000-worth of DLP 3D printers. Mike’s business experience, analytical skills, and business acumen shaped its vision to manufacture a product that brings immediate value to its users. A simple calculation proved to Mike that the B9 DLP 3D printer was the answer to this vision. Indeed, while jewelers were easily spending $1,000 to $2,000 a month on molds, investing in a B9 DLP 3D printer enables them to reduce this expense to under $100 a month. Therefore the $4500 initial investment for the B9 3D printer could be paid back in only 3 to 4 months.
Shon explained to me how Mike has been working closely with their customers to keep improving the product and the resin. This close relationship has been core to the continuous improvement of the B9 DLP 3D printer. As I reported in a recent interview, similar successful technology companies have adopted this open win-win strategy, while some others reluctant to partner with their customers have been slow to innovate and have lost significant market share.
B9Creations in Numbers
Shon has been very kind to share some numbers with me to illustrate B9Creations’ formidable success in the last 4 years. The company has sold 3D printers in over 50 countries. The resin is gaining popularity to the point that other DLP 3D printer manufacturers are adopting or recommending it to their customers. The user based has expanded dramatically to a wide range of professional users who appreciate the quality of the product, its reliability and ease of use. B9Creations is now shipping 80% assembled machines as opposed to only 20% when the company started. Currently, the jewellery sector is representing over 50% of the sales, but Shon insisted that new verticals are showing strong interest for the B9. He is very optimistic that the company can keep growing at a fast pace as it has done since inception.
B9Creations Future Plan
Shon’s long trip from South Dakota to iMakr London was a clear sign of the worldwide ambition of B9Creations. It was also another strong indication from the company that deep partnerships with its customers is core to Mike’s vision. B9Creations is a profitable, self-funded startup. Shon forecasts the sales to keep growing significantly in the next twelve months. In the next couple of months, the company will bring to the market an accessory to streamline and speed up post processing. It will also broaden its offering to target some new verticals. To manage the profitable growth and keep the quality, B9Creations is looking to double its headcount in the next 12 months. Specifically the company is hiring sales engineers and design engineers. Outstanding candidates can apply by emailing: [email protected]