This post originally appeared in the Auburn News section of the City of Auburn website.
SWIGRO, a fast-growing, Auburn-based additive manufacturing company, marked its beginnings as a startup at the Auburn Center for Developing Industries (ACDI). The incubator facility on Pumphrey Avenue is an initiative of the City of Auburn’s Economic Development Department to encourage and nurture local startups. The creation of technology-based startups is an important pillar of Auburn’s economic development strategy.
“SWIGRO is celebrating its fourth year in operation, and I would like to congratulate them for achieving that milestone,” said Mayor Ron Anders. “Knowing how difficult it is to successfully launch a new business, reaching this level of maturity is certainly a statement of their professionalism and adaptability.”
SWIGRO graduated from ACDI to occupy a larger industrial space at 2175 Pumphrey Ave. There, it has increased in employment, equipment footprint, contract manufacturing sales, design services and equipment distribution to meet the industry’s growing demands.
Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, has been growing at a rapid pace as more industries have adopted its application because of the inherent advantages for product design, fast prototyping and small series production. Additive is a disruptive technology that offers the potential for great gains.
Auburn is making a name as an early adopter of this technology. In March, GE Aviation announced a $50 million expansion of its flagship additive manufacturing operation in Auburn. The National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence, a collaboration between Auburn University and NASA, also operates out of Auburn.
With its success, SWIGRO is now planning for additional growth in Auburn. Last month, the team traveled to Formnext, the world’s leading additive manufacturing exhibition and convention in Frankfurt, Germany. There they gleaned the latest developments in the industry and network with international leaders in additive manufacturing.
“SWIGRO has kept ahead of the curve by providing equipment lines capable of producing large, full-scale, durable components to very refined polymer and metal parts as well as sophisticated bio printing of human tissues and organs,” explained Renato Gross, president of SWIGRO. “We have worked with customers to integrate additive into their mainstream workflow in both development and production, offering viable solutions in the leading technologies applicable to the aerospace, automotive, machinery manufacturing and medical industries.”
The City of Auburn Economic Development Department, through its entrepreneurial program, regularly works in collaboration with various entities at Auburn University to support tech startups in Auburn. For more information, swigro.com or auburnalabama.org/economic-development.