Layoffs at Essentium deal yet another blow to the 3D printing sector.

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out the best business strategies and maintaining success can be challenging. Unfortunately, Texas-based firm Essentium is facing these challenges head-on, as they recently announced a new round of layoffs. This news comes as no surprise, as the 3D printing industry as a whole has been experiencing staff reductions.

According to an anonymous source, Essentium has laid off at least 16 employees, with some speculations suggesting that the number could be as high as in the 30s. This is a significant blow to the company and its workforce. In response, Essentium released an official statement from CEO Blake Teipel, who explained the reasoning behind the layoffs. Teipel stated that the company has made strategic adjustments to ensure its long-term success in the additive manufacturing industry. As part of these adjustments, certain roles were reevaluated, leading to the unfortunate decision to reduce the workforce. Teipel expressed his regret and emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting affected employees during this transition.

Essentium is not alone in facing these challenges. Other firms in the industry, such as Beehive Industries, AMT, and 3D Systems, have also announced layoffs in recent years. The manufacturing sector as a whole has been struggling, with economic indicators pointing towards a global downturn. Manufacturing worldwide has been on a consistent decline, hitting some of its lowest levels in June. This decline in demand has forced many companies to lay off employees.

The data from the June ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is particularly concerning. The PMI was at 46%, indicating that manufacturing has been shrinking. The New Orders Index, which indicates future production, and the Production Index, which reflects current manufacturing levels, both decreased. The Employment Index, which looks at jobs in the industry, also dropped, indicating fewer jobs in manufacturing.

Beyond the United States, the manufacturing situation is similarly bleak. Vietnam, once hailed as a manufacturing powerhouse, is experiencing a sharp downturn. A survey conducted by the Private Economic Development Research Board showed that 82% of businesses in the country are considering layoffs or even closing down due to dwindling orders. Even in China, the world’s manufacturing behemoth, the sector has struggled since its lowest annual growth in 2015. The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai reports that 20% of American manufacturers in China are considering layoffs in the coming year.

These layoffs are not just numbers on paper; they represent the human cost behind every statistic. In the case of Essentium, the company specializes in bridging the gap between traditional and additive manufacturing. Their High-Speed Extrusion (HSE) platform and tailored materials promise quicker production and cost efficiencies. Despite their innovative technology, Essentium has faced numerous challenges on their journey. They were on track for a merger deal in 2021 that would have taken them public, but the deal collapsed, halting their expansion plans. Additionally, they lost a deal with Collider, a promising startup that unfortunately closed down.

The manufacturing sector is a significant source of jobs, with over 12 million positions in 2022, according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). Therefore, it is crucial that strategies are put in place to overcome the challenges currently facing the industry. This includes finding ways to adapt to changing market trends, investing in new technologies, and prioritizing employee support during times of transition.

In conclusion, Essentium’s recent round of layoffs reflects the broader struggles within the 3D printing industry and the manufacturing sector as a whole. The challenges faced by Essentium and other companies highlight the need for resilience, adaptability, and strategic decision-making in order to navigate through uncertain times. By focusing on innovation, supporting employees, and embracing change, businesses can position themselves for long-term success in an ever-evolving industry.

Exploring the Job Landscape in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing

Determining the number of jobs solely dedicated to 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM) may seem like a daunting task. Despite the rapid growth of this domain, it remains a relatively small segment within the overall job landscape. While some estimates suggest that the US AM sector offers tens of thousands of jobs, this still pales in comparison to the 12.2 million manufacturing jobs in the country. To obtain more accurate figures, further research or surveys that focus specifically on the intersection of 3D printing employment within the broader manufacturing sector are necessary.

In recent months, many individuals who have been laid off from their jobs have turned to LinkedIn, a leading social networking site, in search of new opportunities. Interestingly, not only does this platform serve as a medium for professionals to share their layoff stories, but it is also where numerous 3D printing job opportunities are listed. Through our preliminary research on LinkedIn and other job forums, we discovered a high demand for workers in the 3D printing industry. Using search terms such as “3D printing” or “additive manufacturing” yielded a significant number of job openings, with at least 4,000 positions available in the US alone. However, a deeper investigation is necessary to determine the nature of these roles. Are they suitable for industry veterans or primarily entry-level positions? This differentiation is crucial in understanding the true job landscape for experienced professionals in the sector.

Peter Cappelli, an HR expert and Director of the Center for HR at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, once stated, “Businesses have never done as much hiring as they do today. They’ve never spent as much money doing it. And they’ve never done a worse job of it.” In a 2019 Harvard Business Review article, Cappelli criticized modern hiring practices, noting an over-reliance on outsourced firms and electronic filtering tools that often result in inefficient and questionable recruitment outcomes. Cappelli argues that the decline in effective employee management in recent years can be attributed to financial accounting practices that treat human capital investment as a current expense. This practice discourages firms from investing in their workforce, while the benefits of good management remain intangible in financial reports.

As the global manufacturing sector faces challenges such as reduced demand, rising costs, and an unpredictable economic climate, transparency, compassion, and mutual understanding from companies are more crucial than ever. In these trying times, companies and employees must find new avenues for growth and support one another. By staying updated on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and establishing connections with third party vendors, both companies and employees can navigate these challenges more effectively.

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