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3-D printing firm Desktop Metal cuts workforce by 15 percent

A 3-D printer worked at making a small metal part at Desktop Metal in Burlington, Mass., on Sept. 2, 2020.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Burlington-based 3-D printing company Desktop Metal said Thursday it is cutting about 15 percent of its workforce, the latest in a wave of local tech firms thinning their employee ranks.

Desktop Metal — which operates two facilities in Burlington, one in Wilmington, and one in Woburn — employed approximately 1,200 people worldwide prior to the layoffs, meaning the cuts will impact approximately 180 workers.

The company did not disclose how many workers from Massachusetts would be laid off, but CEO and cofounder Ric Fulop called it “more of a global adjustment.”

Desktop — which sells a range of 3-D printers that work with materials like metal, wood, and ceramics, and has recently expanded its burgeoning dental printing businesssaw its stock slump 73 percent last year as big paydays proved elusive and the broader tech sector suffered.


In addition to layoffs, the company is also planning to close four of its facilities (none in Massachusetts) and consolidate several locations in the US and Canada to four “hubs” in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and the Midwest. These measures are all part of an effort to bring Desktop Metal to profitability, Fulop said in an interview.

“This is something we don’t do lightly. We love the people we work with,” said Fulop. “Even if we have some reductions in workforce today, we will continue to grow parts of the business, but now do it on a profitable basis.”

Fulop pointed to macroeconomic trends — rising interest rates, plummeting stocks, and lower-than-expected revenues — as the reason for the cost-cutting moves. “Things went from ‘growth at all cost’ to the ability to basically try to have profitable growth,” he said.

Desktop Metal’s stock was up more than 19 percent on the layoff news.

The cost-cutting moves come after similar efforts the company made last June, when Desktop set out to save $50 million on an annualized basis. It achieved that, Fulop said, and the additional layoffs and restructuring are intended to double that for a total of $100 million in annual savings. Desktop’s market capitalization currently stands at about $700 million.


“We are always adjusting based on macroeconomic and other conditions, but we have a growth industry where we’re a leader in many major segments, and we’ve got to support our customers,” he said. “Part of that is to have a sustainable company that’ll be around for a long time.”

Dana Gerber can be reached at Follow her @danagerber6.