Hobs Reprographics, the largest independent 3D printing company in the UK received a £7m investment from BGF in December 2014 to support its growth strategy.
The investment is being used to roll-out further Hobs Studios, which house state-of-the-art 3D printing and animation, augmented and virtual reality and CGI solutions for architectural, engineering, construction and product designers. Customers work with Hobs Studio’s BIM and 3D printing experts during bid and construction projects, transforming 2D files into 3D masterpieces. The first Hobs Studios opened in Manchester in December 2013, followed by Clerkenwell, London in May 2014. The company plans to develop new facilities across the UK to provide a national service.
Founded in 1969 as a reprographics specialist, printing architectural drawings, Hobs manages onsite print rooms for customers in the legal, healthcare, utilities sectors, in addition to its digital offering. As a support partner to the construction team responsible for the new Wembley Stadium, Hobs was on-site providing all the 3D printing and drawing management services and managed the daily flow of documentation during the build.
In 2013, founder and chief executive Kieran O’Brien demonstrated Hobs’ 3D and augmented reality services at the Coronation Festival, which was held at Buckingham Palace. The Liverpool-headquartered company employs more than 300 people working across 29 offices in the UK, with revenue in excess of £30m.
Kieran O’Brien remained a majority shareholder in the business and appointed Peter Bertram to the board as non-executive chairman after being introduced by BGF. Peter has extensive, first-hand experience in the business services sector and was formerly chief executive of Azlan Group. He is non-executive chairman of Phoenix IT, chairman of Ten Alps and non-executive director of Microgen.
As part of the investment, Neil Inskip joined the board of the company as non-executive director.