While many Prusa Stories are about companies that have adopted 3D printing to improve their operations, this one is about a business entirely based on this technology.

In 2011, brothers Jaime and Rogério Matos started with two Prusa Mendels in their grandparents’ garage – humble beginnings of what is now Impressão 3D Portugal, a leading Portuguese company in custom manufacturing and industrial bulk 3D printing.


Of the two brothers, Rogério was the first to start 3D printing – he needed help to develop several of his augmentation projects. His world quite literally changed when he saw the legendary Prusa Mendel.

“This is the future!” remembers Rogério’s first thoughts. And he was right! 🙂

Soon, his brother Jaime joined. He was more of a software guy, complementing his brother’s hardware skills. They bought two Prusa Mendels and started a business.

Whatever the market needs

They first used 3D printing to develop their own projects – products that were not on the market but were in demand, such as electric bikes, innovative lighting and decorative solutions for events, portable and modern-looking lamps, and complementary accessories like cases, clamps, and electronic enclosures.

Shortly after, they expanded their production and introduced a website that revolutionized 3D model production in Portugal: You can simply upload your design, tailor it to your needs, get an immediate price quote, and order right away!

Scaling Up

Today, their 3D printing facility focuses on large-scale production of industrial parts.
“Some companies only need a few prototypes, but some need 500, 1000, 5000 parts. As our farm is the biggest in Portugal, we get it done very quickly.” Jaime says proudly.
“Many businesses even have a 3D printer, but It’s often not practical for them to produce all of that on their own, so they first make their own prototypes but then outsource the bulk production to us,” Rogério adds.

With the increased demand, Jaime and Rogério seized the opportunity and became a popular supplier of various 3D-printed tools and products. Some customers don’t want just the plain parts, they also want their own 3D printers to prototype or produce things in-house, so they started Evolt.pt and became THE store for all things 3D printing in Portugal.

Thanks to their know-how, they now supply whole 3D printing farms, providing 3D printers, specialized training, and service.

Another box in the wall

The two brothers went a long way from the garage with two 3D printers. The Impressão 3D Portugal company is now based in a former shoe-making factory just south of Porto, Portugal. How many printers do they currently have? They don’t even know!

“I lost track! We keep ordering and ordering…” smiles Rogério.

After a manual count on their farm, we reach the number 60.

“But we ordered many more — more than 200 — and sold them to our customers. Businesses, Universities, people who want to have their own printer or Farm in-house and trust our knowledge to guide them to make the best choice in regards to 3D printing,” explains Jaime, who shows us something straight out of a Pink Floyd album — a wall of boxes from Original Prusa 3D printers. For a second, we expected David Gilmour to appear on top and play a solo. 🙂

Efficiency as a primary goal

Impressão 3D Portugal’s 3D printing farm is running like clockwork thanks to a meticulous approach. For example, farmers use augmented reality glasses (remember Google Glass? They look similar) to check the printing progress and see if it goes well. Using a QR code next to the 3D printer, they can access all data from that 3D printer as well as see the completed model and compare it to the one that’s being made. Quite futuristic!

All of the printers are connected via Prusa Connect and overseen from the control room by Rogério.

“We use Original Prusa 3D printers – we want to be efficient, and they are very straightforward,” says Rogério.

“We have worked with Original Prusa 3D printers since the start, and we recommend them. Using Original Prusa 3D printers allows us to focus on business rather than maintaining the machines,” adds Jaime.

Their 3D printing farm was built around the Original Prusa MK3, and they are now upgrading to the MK4.

“The Original Prusa MK4 is awesome! It has so many features, and it does everything automatically. You don’t need to teach someone how to adjust or tune the Z-axis. That’s great!” says Rogério.

And he adds another interesting observation:

“The LED indication is great – with just one look, I can see the production status even from far away,” Rogério says.

Community above all

When talking about their success, the brothers always mention the 3D printing community first.

“The community has been essential to our growth, and being a part of it has become a lifestyle,” says Jaime.
Through Evolt, they began organizing the first-ever 3D printing events in Portugal, and you can find their booth at local maker conventions, doing crazy stuff and printing for fun.

“Makers are cooler than surfers!” claims Jaime.

And from a Portuguese guy, that’s quite a statement!