Innovative 3D printing specialists Photocentric secure funds to build UK centre of excellence in Peterborough

Double Queen's Award winning Photocentric is to create a UK centre of excellence in Peterborough to showcase cutting edge 3D printing technology.

By Paul Grinnell
Thursday, 5th March 2020, 11:59 am
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 12:00 pm
The production process at Photocentric.
The production process at Photocentric.

Funding of £1.8 million for the flagship centre has just been agreed by the Combined Authority of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

It will enable the 3D printer and resin manufacturer, Photocentric, based in Cambridge House, Oxney Road, to build the national centre that is expected to help drive the creation of jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Paul Holt, managing director of Photocentric, which won the Queen's Award for innovation in 2016 and then for its overseas sales in 2018, said: "We are delighted to be able to create the UK’s Centre of 3D Printing of Excellence here in Peterborough.

Photocentric MD Paul Holt, left, receives the Queen's Award for Innovation from Sir Hugh Duberly, the Lord Lt of Cambridgeshire in 2016.

"This has been made possible by the generous support from the Combined Authority.

Mr Holt added: "Photocentric invented a new form of 3D printing and started the process to commercialise it in 2004.

"Today, we manufacture both the 3D printers and the resins used in them and sell them around the world.

"This exciting disruptive technology can transform many of the ways parts are made.

Work at Photocentric.

"Photocentric will also be a central partner of the new Peterborough University sharing the technology and its applications."

Photocentric began life in 2002 in Woodston with just one member of staff.

It now has a turnover of £11 million and employs 145 people in Peterborough plus another 40 at its US subsidiary. Some 74 per cent of its sales go overseas though its distribution network covering 50 countries.

It plans to double its turnover this year by building on its unique 3D printing technology.

Just last year, it launched two liquid crystal display 3D printers that can create large numbers of dental models quickly and efficiently and that are expected to help shape the future of dentistry.

A spokesperson for the Combined Authority said: "We are putting forward £1.8 million of resource through the Local Growth Fund to support the establishment of a UK Centre for 3D Printing in Peterborough.

“This ground breaking initiative will create employment opportunities in the advanced manufacturing sector, helping to boost the local economy of Peterborough and spread prosperity throughout the region.”

Councillor John Holdich, the leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "I showed the Mayor of the Combined Authority around the company, which designs and manufactures 3D printers and resins, and we were both impressed at the level of expertise on show and the innovation taking place in our city."