Award-winning Materflow turns 3D printing into international business


Relocate to Lahti region For starting entrepreneurs Design Digitalisation Internationalisation For small businesses 6.2.2018

Though it sounds futuristic, 3D printing is a part of modern life – and our ordinary everyday life. The Lahti-based Materflow provides printing services for the international market while growing at a rapid pace.

The award-winning Materflow turns 3D printing into international business. For CEO Mark Poutanen, the coming year looks to be busy and very interesting.
 

‘Our prospects look very good now that we’ve launched a few major accounts after a long period of preparation. We know that we’re good – even foreign customers pick us to be their partner. This indicates that we’ve managed to do the right things at the right time. We have also been growing at a rate of roughly 100 per cent every year, and our goal is to always double the previous year’s result,’ says Poutanen happily.

‘Our competitive advantage comes from quick deliveries, guaranteed quality and the fact that we’re local – Lahti is a very central city to operate from in Finland.’
3D printing produces things and products by adding material, instead of removing it, which is the traditional production method. With 3D printing, a virtual model can in practice be used to produce any physical product you want, quickly and uniquely.

We know that we’re good – even foreign customers pick us to be their partner. This indicates that we’ve managed to do the right things at the right time.

‘There is already competition in this field in Finland. There are four companies of the same size as ours as well as several smaller companies in Finland. Our competitive advantage comes from quick deliveries, guaranteed quality and the fact that we’re local – Lahti is a very central city to operate from in Finland. Most of our customers are here in Finland, but most of our products are exported,’ Poutanen says.

The company’s customers range from large companies to private persons. ‘Our customers are mostly companies for whom we print either individual parts for products or entirely new end products for sale in shops,’ Poutanen continues. ‘For example, we’ve printed out covers for prosthetic legs and parts for submarines and various electronics.’

From an entrepreneurship course to strong export to the international market

Poutanen was introduced to 3D printing while studying for his degree in media technology at Lahti University of Applied Sciences. He got the idea to start his own company while attending an entrepreneurship course. The two original members of the company have been involved from the very start.
 
‘We started taking our business idea forward boldly and invested in it – it paid off, and we now have three shareholders as well as two permanent employees,’ Poutanen says.

 

‘We started taking our business idea forward boldly and invested in it – it paid off.’

Materflow has also offered placements for interns from different schools, but finding good people poses a bigger challenge.

‘With more changes in our future, we will need more skilled and knowledgeable people in particular, as we anticipate major growth,’ ponders Poutanen. ‘Their educational background isn’t that important, as long as they have the right attitude.’

 

Lahti’s location is optimal for running an international export company

Although Lahti isn’t the place where the founders of Materflow were born, it is and will remain the company’s domicile.

‘Our products depart from Lahti both on rubber tyres and as air freight, so a central location is everything to us.’

‘It’s so easy and quick to travel to meetings anywhere in Finland from Lahti – in reality, you can get to the airport and ports just as easily and quickly as from Helsinki. Our products depart from Lahti both on rubber tyres and as air freight, so a central location is everything to us.’

Lahti can offer major benefits as both a business and residential environment compared to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, for example.

‘Here, you can get around easily with a car, and time is money for entrepreneurs,’ Poutanen says with a laugh. ‘The rents are more affordable than in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area for both business premises and housing.’

Founded in 2013, Materflow is an expert in 3D printing. The company’s clientele ranges from private individuals to major companies. The company operates in Lahti, from which it can easily ship products across the world.

Three good reasons to operate in the Lahti region?

1. Affordable setting to live and do business.
2. Suitable size, easy to get around.
3. Functional transport connections to the airport and Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Are you interested in the Lahti region? If you want more information on the business environment in Lahti, click the link below. You can come to us with anything that’s on your mind.

If you are interested in locating your business in the Lahti region, check out the Lahti All Inclusive relocation service! We will put together a team of experts for your company that will look into the things that you are interested in. The service is free of charge and does not obligate your business in any way.