Aleph Objects lays off 80 percent of workforce

LOVELAND — Aleph Objects Inc., a 3D printer manufacturer based in Loveland, has laid off about 80 percent of its workforce amidst a cash-flow crunch, and is actively “negotiating new ownership opportunities.”

Aleph announced on Friday that it had “reduced its staff as of today.”

“Please be assured we will continue to manufacture and sell the LulzBot Mini 2, Workhorse and Pro series of printers and will continue to service the equipment as we are negotiating new ownership opportunities. All warranties will continue to be honored and the standard one year warranty will be included with all new printer purchases,” the company stated.

Aleph Objects founder Jeff Moe told BizWest Saturday that the company announced the cuts to staff on Wednesday, with the reductions effective Friday. The company cut about 90 out of 113 workers, he said.

“We announced to employees on Wednesday, and the reductions were [effective] end of the day Friday,” Moe said. “The company will employ 22 people as of Monday.”

Aleph is based at 626 W. 66th St. in Loveland, with two additional locations in the city. Moe said that Aleph already is vacating space that it occupies in the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology at 815 14th St. SW.

He attributed the cuts to cash-flow issues, but also to the overall manufacturing climate in the United States, along with tariffs on Chinese goods.

“The overriding reason is the difficulty of high-tech manufacturing in the U.S.,” he said. “More specific reasons would be delayed product launches, which cost money, and we were expecting some payments that we didn’t receive, and as you know, cash flow rules, and we can’t have people on board working if we’re not certain we’re going to have a payroll for that two weeks out.”

Moe emphasized that all employees were paid.

He said that the cost of high-tech manufacturing in the United States is extremely high compared with other countries.

“I can pay 100 people in India for what I pay for health care,” he said. “That’s one way to look at it.”

He said that tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the Trump Administration brought significant challenges for Aleph. Such tariffs, he said, were not “what did us in,” but were just “one more straw on the camel’s back.”

He said Aleph, which assembles products in Loveland, imported some parts from China, such as electronic motors and power supplies not made in the United States.

“You can’t buy those in the U.S.,” he said. “No one is selling stuff like that in the U.S. anymore. So you pretty much have to get it from abroad. But the tariffs increased our component cost, but they didn’t tariff 3D printers coming in from China. So it actually wound up making it more expensive for us to make a printer, but our Chinese competitor’s prices weren’t increased.”

Moe touted the company’s product line and pipeline, including the LulzBot Bio, which allows 3D printing that can help build human organs.

There’s people that are certainly interested in that,” he said of potential partners or investors. Others, he indicated, might seek to white-label some of Aleph’s products.

“There’s a few people that are interested, but they still have to come up with a few million to keep the engine running,” he said, declining to elaborate on whether new ownership opportunities might entail a sale of the company.

Moe said that the company’s attorneys determined that it did not have to submit a notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires some employers to provide 60 days’ notice of plant closings or mass layoffs.

LOVELAND — Aleph Objects Inc., a 3D printer manufacturer based in Loveland, has laid off about 80 percent of its workforce amidst a cash-flow crunch, and is actively “negotiating new ownership opportunities.”

Aleph announced on Friday that it had “reduced its staff as of today.”

“Please be assured we will continue to manufacture and sell the LulzBot Mini 2, Workhorse and Pro series of printers and will continue to service the equipment as we are negotiating new ownership opportunities. All warranties will continue to be honored and the standard one year warranty will be included with all new printer purchases,” the company stated.

Aleph Objects founder Jeff Moe told BizWest Saturday that the company announced the cuts to staff on Wednesday, with the reductions effective Friday. The company cut about 90 out of 113 workers, he said.

“We announced to employees on Wednesday, and the reductions were [effective] end of the day Friday,” Moe said. “The company will employ 22 people as of Monday.”

Aleph is based at 626 W. 66th St. in Loveland, with two additional locations in the city. Moe said that Aleph already is vacating space that it occupies in the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology at 815 14th St. SW.

He attributed the cuts to cash-flow issues, but also to the overall manufacturing climate in the United States, along with tariffs on Chinese goods.

“The overriding reason is the difficulty of high-tech manufacturing in the U.S.,” he said. “More specific reasons would be delayed product launches, which cost money, and we…