Walking into the Thogus products plant in its quiet business park on the west side of Cleveland, one finds what appears to be a typical – albeit thriving – plastic molding shop, filled with all the typical tools of the trade.

Thogus has been in business here for over 60 years, carving out a neat plastic market since it opened in 1950. Today's shop, while more automated and certainly cleaner and more efficient that it was in those early days, at first glance appears to reflect its long history of plastic molding.

That is, until you turn a corner into rp+m's additive manufacturing headquarters, occupying a quiet room in the factory, closed off from the noise and business of Thogus' traditional works.

The rp+m (rapid prototyping and manufacturing) space is jammed full, wall-to-wall, with some of the most advanced 3-D printing equipment available – giant industrial Stratasys FDM machines and Objet's detailed inkjet printers, along with selective laser sinterers, stereolithography machines, and direct laser sintering and polyjet equipment.

 It is one of the most eclectic and impressive mixes of 3-D printing gear in the region, and has brought the company to the absolute forefront of the burgeoning print-on-demand market.

And it's only the beginning.

"My goal is to own every machine available on the market," Thogus President, Matt Hlavin, explained. "I want to have the capability to print anything here. I want to print everything."

Hlavin is prone to this kind of bold sentiment; it seems to reflect the find of trailblazing certainty that has allowed him to dismantle his grandfather's business after taking control in 2008 and rebuilding it to his own design – a process that has resulted in over 400% growth, even through the recession.

As Hlavin explains it, additive manufacturing, and the engineering capabilities it requires, has played a central role in that growth.