Markforged, a local 3D printing company, had been growing so quickly that it couldn’t fit all of its employees in one building.
To unite a workforce that had been working out of separate facilities in Watertown, Markforged announced last week that it will relocate its headquarters next year to a 120,000-square-foot office along Route 128 in Waltham. The move comes less than six months after the company went public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, landing it $361 million in gross proceeds.
It’s also a sign that there’s still demand for office space in Boston’s suburbs, even as some companies adopt remote or hybrid work models because of the pandemic.
Since going public, Markforged has hired more than 100 people, bringing its head count to more than 350 people globally, including 290 in Massachusetts. The company said the new four-story headquarters, located at 60 Tower Road, can hold more than 500 people.
Markforged CEO Shai Terem said in an e-mail to the Globe that the company looked for new office space in the metro Boston area and even considered expanding its current facility at 480 Pleasant St. in Watertown. Consolidating into one space, though, will bring together the company’s corporate, commercial, and engineering departments, so they can “collaborate with and inspire each other more easily.”
The move is expected to be completed in fall 2022.
Founded in 2013 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, Markforged is trying to meet a moment where global supply chain issues are top of mind for businesses. In an earnings call in November, Terem addressed investors with a PowerPoint slide featuring one striking photo: the cargo container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal.
It was a not-so-subtle reminder of what Terem sees as the company’s value proposition: helping companies design and print their own products on-the-spot, so they don’t have to rely on deliveries from afar.
“Some ship their manufacturing parts around the world,” the PowerPoint slide read. “Others simply hit print.”
Terem said the company’s sales process used to have two components: help people understand they have a supply chain problem, then convince them that Markforged products could help solve them. Now, he said, the first part is clear from the get-go.
“They understand they must build a much more resilient supply chain,” he said.
Markforged has about 10,000 customers, including Tesla and NASA. Chief financial officer Mark Schwartz said it is “not uncommon” for companies to buy more than five 3D printers.
Next year Markforged plans to begin shipping its “biggest, fastest, and most sophisticated” 3D printer, called the FX20. The printer was designed to produce stronger, lighter, heat-resistant materials for the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries.
Markforged generated $24 million in revenue during the third quarter, up 53.8 percent from the comparable period last year. Schwartz said the company expects annual revenue to reach nearly $90 million this year.
Terem said Markforged plans to increase its workforce by about 25 percent next year, meaning the company could reach about 450 employees.
To help meet growing demand for its new printer, the company also announced last week that it plans to almost double the size of its global manufacturing facility in Billerica to 46,000 square feet next year. That site makes the industrial-grade materials that go inside Markforged printers, such as carbon fiber and metals.
The company’s stock trades around $5, down about 30 percent from its price on July 15, when it began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.