3D Print Revolution Co-founder and CEO of Mcor Technologies, Dr. Conor MacCormack tells Silicon Valley Global magazine how his company has become a global player in the 3D print market.
n 2005, Dr. Conor and Fintan MacCormack took a leap of faith to set up Mcor Technologies. Leaving their roles in mechanical and electrical engineering respectively, the brothers set about developing a business solution to democratize innovation by creating a set of accessible tools based on Selective Deposition Lamination (SDL) technology. The aim was to create an environment whereby anyone could easily, and cost-effectively, turn their ideas into low cost, full color, eco-friendly 3D objects. Eight years on and the company has not only realized its initial vision, it has grown to become one of the world’s leading providers of 3D printers – a recent deal with stationery giant Staples reaffirms Mcor’s global standing. “In the beginning we looked closely at the industry and found that there was a requirement for an entry level player that offered a service where customers didn’t have to worry so much about running costs anymore,” explains Conor MacCormack, co-founder and CEO. “Up to that point, 3D printing was the preserve of the very few – while the price of machines was coming down, the operating costs were heading significantly northwards to a point where a litre of material going into the technology of our competitors was more expensive than gold! This prevented designers, for example, from running four or five different designs and discarding the options that they didn’t want to pursue. Effectively, such high running costs were a limiting and debilitating factor for the whole industry. Our solution changed that.” In 2008, Mcor Technologies, now with a product ready for market, received almost two million hits on its website in just 10 days – it was clear that there was an appetite out there
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for a more user-friendly, cost-effective solution. However, the company, just like many other businesses, felt the brunt of the economic downturn almost immediately when orders started to be shelved. “Thankfully, we have a global product,” says MacCormack. “Originally our aim was to sell in Ireland and the UK, which would have given us a greater level of control over the organic growth of the business. However, when the recession hit we were just about to go into production with a number of orders that were subsequently canceled due to budget constraints; we realized very quickly then that we had to expand our sales network. While that is good in one sense, in another it was very difficult – we regularly received enquiries from China, America and Australia but we didn’t have the infrastructure or a dealer to work on our behalf in any of those jurisdictions at that stage.”
Worldwide Operation Providing an almost world-wide service is an integral part of operations today for MacCormack and the team – indeed, since the deal with Staples was announced in November last year, Mcor Technologies has been rarely out of the global spotlight. Staples, using Mcor’s IRIS (a 3D printer with the highest color capability in the industry), now offers consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others access to low-cost, brilliantly colored, photo-realistic 3D printed products at its retail network. “Until our deal with Staples, 3D printers had been selling their services almost exclusively to skilled designers, large architect firms and major players in the engineering sector – our offering with Staples sent huge shockwaves throughout
Silicon Valley Global Magazine