National Success for Northland Creative Technology Start-Up Business

3D max is a Northland creative technology business undergoing rapid growth. After outgrowing their garage and small-scale operation in Whangarei, their reach is now national, and they are eyeing up opportunities globally.

3D Max is a niche operation selling 3D printers, printing supplies, laser engravers, laser cutters and other related products to hobbyists, artists, businesses and other creatives across New Zealand. They have strong values focused on customer service and supporting the community and are a company to watch in Northland.

Founded in Friendship

Two friends founded 3D Max, Irfan Shahzad and Shahzad Khan. Irfan is an electrical engineer and project manager with international experience with large corporations and public institutions. Shahzad is an information systems expert and lecturer completing his PhD in computer sciences. Both of them had a good business experience in different capacities.

The men met a few years ago when Shahzad had recently moved to Whangarei. They find a lot of common interests and soon become great friends. The friendship became a business partnership after Irfan showed Shahzad his 3D printing work. They discussed the issues with getting 3D printers in NZ. There were only a handful of suppliers with conventional models and high prices. The after-sale support was minimal, and finding parts and upgrades in the local market was challenging. After some research and discussions, they came up with the idea to import the printers from overseas to sell to the local market. So they started the business from Irfan’s garage with a small investment and grew it there.

At the end of the first three months, it was evident they were disrupting the monopoly and fielding inquiries from all over New Zealand. This initial success gave them the confidence to invest more in the business and increase their product stock.

What Helped?

Some critical decisions helped cement this success.

  • Unlike existing sellers who focus on conventional, low-risk-high-profit products, 3DMAX are always the first to get the latest products to the market, bringing the latest technology to the country.
  • They established their own custom-made, scientific criteria to select the best suppliers with the best quality and innovative products.
  • Focusing on value for money through bundles makes things easy for those new to the technology.
  • Targeting small businesses, education, and non-profit organizations has created a B2B niche.
  • A solid understanding of customer requirements and provide excellent customer support.
  • They always have a product to offer to customers tested in foreign markets but new to NZ (for example, laser engravers and cutters.)
  • With good professional dealings, they’ve secured local dealership status for high-quality, affordable brands from overseas. For instance, they were the first authorized distributors of Creality (3D printing supplies) local stockiest in NZ and exclusive distributors of xTOOL by Makeblock and Ortur (for laser engravers and cutters) in the NZ market.

The friends have been in business for over 18 months and recently achieved 3000+ orders with 100% customer satisfaction through all platforms. A significant part of their business comes from creative small businesses throughout New Zealand.

Next Steps

The men are working towards national as well as international growth. They are looking into opening stores or partnering with like-minded businesses in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, as well as the Pacific Region (Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, etc.). They are also running a pilot test of their own brand of supplies and looking towards establishing a line of products designed for creative small businesses in the future.

But for now, the men are firmly established in Northland and excited to support our local creative technology sector.

With that in mind, please use Coupon Code 3DMTENP for a 10% discount. (Customer registration on our website will be required to use the coupon code.)