3D Printing

Q&A with Formlabs’ new head of Operations & Finance

Sander Nijssen is the latest addition to Formlabs’ European leadership team, joining to oversee regional operations and finance. Formlabs Europe, headquartered in Berlin, has tripled their numbers in only two years, showing a continuing regional consolidation process. We caught up with Nijssen to ask the head of Operations and Finance a few questions.

3DPI asked Nijssen about the challenges of working in a fast-moving industry. “The main challenge I see, whilst scaling up and growing teams over two different continents, is to secure and maintain the same level of agility which has brought us to where we stand today,” he told us. “I am confident that with our strong company culture and talent at Formlabs  will be able to successfully make that step but we need to continue managing that transition carefully.”

Sander Nijssen. Image via Formlabs.
Sander Nijssen. Image via Formlabs.

Nijssen’s Trail

Nijssen’s track record includes iversify, a leading German online education platform where he served as managing director leading several rounds of equity financing and driving the platform’s growth to 1M users and The New Motion, a charging-solutions company for electric cars where he succeeded in generating 10M EUR annual turnover in a period of four years.

I’m incredibly excited to join Formlabs,” speaking about his latest role. “Formlabs is on a mission to build the world’s largest professional desktop 3D printing company and I am convinced that with its unique vision and exceptional product line it is set to dominate the market of digital fabrication.” 3DPI asked Nijssen about the next phase for the company, “With the Form 2 we  have created a machine that is setting new standards for the 3DP market. Moreover, we have been developing new materials with a wide variety of applications, from engineering to dental to jewelry to many more.”

Through the path towards growth

Along with the 3D printing industry, Formlabs are also growing as a company with a series of successes in their wake; their third 3D printer, Form 2, has been in the market for one year now and continues to be a market leader in SLA technology; they recently secured a $35 million in Series B funding from Foundry Group and Autodesk to drive their growth; finally, they closed several important global distribution deals to continue growing their market reach.

Nijssen is excited by the prospect of growing the range of applications with their technology. “We are moving in an industry where, especially over the last couple of years, innovation cycles have become extremely short.” He also has a keen interest in several of the sectors where 3D printing is making significant inroads.

3D Printing an Impact

When asked about the use cases that he finds most compelling, Nijssen had two clear favorites in health and education: “I am inspired by stories such as the Shirley Technique, where our 3D printers contributed to creating Mr. Shirley’s prosthesis after he lost his jaw to cancer,”  he told us. “I’m also passionate about making education accessible to everyone – something I’ve worked hard at while at iversity. For this reason I’m excited to see the results of our latest 3D printing contest, The Innovate & Educate Challenge, where teachers can submit ideas for a 3D printing lesson plan and win a Form 2!” he concluded.

Formlabs continues to grow by developing a clear series of strategies; R&D, aggressive market growth, team consolidation, successful funding rounds, repeat. It will be interesting to see how new appointment Nijssen continues to steer the European core team towards new areas of growth while maintaining the same level of dynamism in their product development side and creating a solid global enterprise culture across two continents.

Featured image shows Boston University’s Artemis Project, image via Formlabs.