Matthew Purdy

Matthew Purdy, co-founder of M&P 3D Printing, LLC. in Brentwood, TN.

A former U.S. Army officer is bringing 3D printing to Williamson County as a startup operating in the on-demand manufacturing space.

Matthew J. Purdy serves part-time as an emergency management logistics coordinator for the Tennessee National Guard, a position to which he transitioned in 2019 after a decade in the Army from which he retired as a Garrison Operations Officer.

With the rest of his time, he previously operated as a logistics specialist for AZOVA, a Utah-based digital health tech company until the beginning of this year when he left that position and co-founded a new company: M&P 3D Printing.

M&P 3D Printing provides manufacturing options for people and small companies who need parts or have supply chain disruptions. This is particularly valuable to those who cannot afford conventional manufacturing such as injection molding or computer numerical control machining.

“For example,” Purdy told Home Page, “a friend of ours had a piece break off of a kitchen appliance. He was not able to buy the item from the manufacturer. I modeled the broken piece, printed it out in about an hour, and gave it back to him the next day.”

The friend saved about $200 by availing himself of this option instead of buying a new appliance. Small companies and sole proprietorships are the ones most in need of low-cost manufacturing options amid supply chain disruptions, which Forbes predicts are here to stay for manufacturers of all sorts during what trade journals in various sectors agree is a global supply chain shortage starting prior to but accelerated by the pandemic.

A supply chain crisis and the bloom of Greater Nashville’s budding tech industry — with the advent of Amazon, AllianceBernstein, NTT Data, Oracle — make an ideal market for a 3D printing startup. Less than two years before the start of the quarantine in Williamson County, more than 8,000 people worked for 185 manufacturing companies, including APCOM, Lasso Products and HORN USA. The auto industry has its own manufacturing presence with Magna Seating and Nissan.

Purdy said “the sky’s the limit” on which supply chains M&P can service. “We have made replacement parts for appliances, toys, cars and tools. I’m currently designing a tool for use in my wife’s medical aesthetics clinic. We have goals and aspirations to be a leader in 3D Printing for our area.”

Though Purdy has chosen to serve his country as a logistics professional, he said that did not directly influence his foray into 3D printing since he is not particularly passionate about logistics per se. However, it does deal with supply chain management. This informed what he learned about 3D modeling and industrial grade 3D printing while earning his B.S. degree in electrical engineering technology from Austin Peay.

“The idea that I could 3D print custom parts and enclosures for electrical components and robotics was enthralling and helped usher me into our business,” Purdy said.

M&P is also in the process of finalizing its application and onboarding as a Xometry supplier. Founded in 2013, Maryland-based Xometry has become a leading, AI-assisted marketplace for on-demand manufacturing services like 3D printing, CNC machining, injection modeling, laser cutting, Urethane casting and countless other such services. Last summer, Xometry (XMTR) officially started trading on the NASDAQ and raised more than $300 million for its initial public offering.

As of 12 PM March 9, Xometry stock was valued at $44.18 per share, up almost 8 percent from yesterday and slightly ahead of the price originally set at $44 even on June 30, 2021.