BCN3D, the CIM UPC spinoff that conquers Seat or Airbus with its 3D printer business

The Catalan company is seeking to consolidate its business in the North American market following its arrival in New Jersey in December, where it already sells 20% of its revenues.


3D printing is said to be the technology of the future and will help solve various problems in society. Currently, it allows the construction of houses, prostheses, utensils, and even products to help modern medicine. BCN3D, is the spinoff of the CIM UPC that through its platform offers desktop 3D printer equipment with the aim of democratizing access to this type of machines, and also ffers services in the ‘cloud’ with its own software to facilitate its use and allows companies and professionals to connect and manage 3D printers in real time and anywhere.

After arriving in the United States in December 2021, the company is now focusing on strengthening its business throughout North America thanks to the installation of its logistics center in New Jersey to streamline delivery processes. “The idea is to have more business. Currently, we have a logistics partner there, a small team that will grow,” says BCN3D CEO Xavier Martínez Faneca in a conversation with La Información. The North American market accounts for 33% of global 3D printing revenues, according to the company, and “we are selling 20%, so we know there is potential there”.

The history of the startup has been changing over the years. It started in 2011 here, at the CIM UPC, where we have industrial 3D printing machines with which we offer technological services to companies, but which can hardly be located in a technical office of an SME. The initial business was based on creating desktop printer kits that were worth about 1,000 euros and were easy to understand. This gave rise to the idea of creating a business unit that would make it possible to work with this technology in a sustainable way; in other words, the business could be financed through the sale of these kits.

With the passing of the years, CIM UPC perfected these machines from a printer that had to be assembled to one that was completely ready to “arrive and install” (its Sigma model). IDEX technology (which allows printing with two heads independently) was developed. The project went from turning over €900,00 in 2015 to almost €2 million in 2016. “At that time we made a technological breakthrough and wanted to go a step further,” says Martínez Faneca. It is for this reason that in 2019 they raised a round of funding for 2.7 million to make a spin-off of the CIM UPC.


Since then, the company has raised a total of 5.5 million euros in different capital increases that helped the company in the development of new materials and hardware, as well as its expansion. Thanks to these movements, they are part of the portfolio of large investors such as Accurafy4; JME Ventures (which has the Spanish companies Yaba or Genially in its portfolio); Danobatgroup; the public company CDTI; Mondragón, a fund managed by Clave Capital and Victoria Venture Capital. With this money they have also launched new products and in September 2021 they bought the 3D printing platform AstroPrint to boost their software solutions in the cloud.

Although the figures of the transaction have not been made public, the company assures that the acquisition of 100% of AstroPrint was with its own funds. In addition, BCN3D’s management decided to keep most of the technical team of this company with Spanish DNA (from Malaga) and American origin. Thanks to this alliance they have mounted all their ‘cloud’ technology on top of what they already had developed. “The ‘cloud’ service is very important for the future of 3D printing because there are more and more improvements, but the important thing is the ability to bring everything under the same hat. So the customer also understands everything better and on a single screen,” says the company’s CEO.


BCN3D Stratos is another of its software that aims to seek speed, efficiency, and high quality printing. The idea of the startup is that in one or two years it will become part of its ‘BCN3D Cloud’ service to focus all in one so that its customers such as BMW, Nissan, Airbus, Camper, Hospital Sant Joan de Deu de Barcelona, NGNY, Seat or even NASA, can access their solutions easily. In general, they have varied customers as they are not a niche company and there are three basic applications for their products: prototype, like Camper for their shoes; props as used by Nissan, and final product as in the case of NGNY.

Already for this new year their plan is to launch new products and projects they have in the pipeline with the aim that in the next two or three years their business will be 100% consolidated in terms of turnover and activity. In 2019 the company turned over €4.1 million and in 2020 €4.5 million, while the figures for 2021 have not yet been disclosed. “We believe that in the next 5 to 10 years it will be quite interesting the 3D printing sector, that we will help many… but we have to keep working for it,” says Martínez Faneca. Meanwhile, the Catalan startup will focus on the creation of new products to improve both domestic and North American turnover in the coming years.
SOURCE: BCN3D, the startup that conquers Seat or Airbus with its 3D printer business – La Información.