Award-winning Materflow turns 3D printing into international business
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.