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R&D Shop Supervisor



People & HR, Operations
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024


Freeform is deploying software-defined, autonomous metal 3D printing factories around the world, bringing the scalability of software to physical production. Our proprietary technology stack leverages advanced sensing, real-time controls, and data-driven learning to produce digitally-verified, flawless parts at unprecedented speed and cost. Our mission is to make the transformative power of 3D printing available to all industries at scale and unlock the future of innovation.

As an R&D Shop Supervisor at Freeform, you will be responsible for leading in-house machining, fabrication, and assembly capabilities to support the development of our fully automated metal 3D printing factories. You will be responsible for overseeing a team of technicians and machinists, prioritizing work to meet schedule, improving shop organization, as well as performing hands-on hardware development projects for a significant portion of your time. We are looking for someone who can be flexible and scrappy with a team-oriented, no job too big or small mentality. This is a high impact opportunity to scale R&D shop operations at a rapidly growing startup that’s creating an industry-disrupting technology. If that sounds like interesting work, we’d love to hear from you!

3D printing experience is not required to be successful here - rather we look for smart, motivated, collaborative individuals who love solving hard problems and creating amazing technology!


  • Lead a multi-functional R&D shop consisting of machining, welding, and complex fabrication/assembly
  • Manage a multi-disciplinary team of technicians, fabricators, and machinists
  • Perform extensive hands-on work including machining, assembly, and fabrication of complex parts/hardware in a fast paced, R&D environment
  • Work with engineering team to understand hardware development priorities, and create production plans to meet schedule rate
  • Improve machine utilization, shop organization, tool maintenance, and raw materials/inventory
  • Provide feedback to the hardware development teams on design for manufacturing improvements
  • Make recommendations to management on purchasing new machines/tools
  • Lead process improvement projects to create a state-of-the-art operation

Basic Qualifications:

  • 8+ years of experience with hands-on machining or fabrication
  • Experience working in an R&D or custom job shop environment
  • 1+ years of shop supervision/leadership experience
  • Familiar with a broad range of hardware development processes such as machining, welding, fabrication, and assembly

Nice to Have:

  • NTMA machinist certification
  • CNC programming experience
  • Skilled with manual machining, welding, cutting, fitting and/or bending of stainless steels, aluminums, and high-strength nickel alloys
  • Ability to utilize power tools, hand tools, cranes, forklifts, and other heavy equipment
  • Experience in metal additive manufacturing
  • Experience with precision measuring instruments
  • Ability to lift and/or move up to 50lbs unassisted
  • Ability to climb ladders and be on your feet for extended periods of time
  • Must be available and willing to work overtime when needed


  • We are located in Hawthorne, CA in a 35,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility featuring large open spaces for team collaboration, R&D, and production, as well as easy access to the 405, 105, and 110 freeways. Our facility is in the heart of Los Angeles' vibrant emerging tech ecosystem alongside many other high growth startups and enterprises.

What We Offer:

  • We have an inclusive and diverse culture that values collaboration, learning, and making deliberate data-driven decisions.
  • We offer a unique opportunity to be an early and integral member of a rapidly growing company that is scaling a world-changing technology.
  • Benefits
    • Significant stock option packages
    • 100% employer-paid Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance (premium PPO and HMO options)
    • Life insurance
    • Traditional and Roth 401(k)
    • Relocation assistance provided
    • Paid vacation, sick leave, and company holidays
    • Generous Paid Parental Leave and extended transition back to work for the birthing parent
    • Free daily catered lunch and dinner, and fully stocked kitchenette
    • Casual dress, flexible work hours, and regular catered team building events
  • Compensation
    • As a growing company, the salary range is intentionally wide as we determine the most appropriate package for each individual taking into consideration years of experience, educational background, and unique skills and abilities as demonstrated throughout the interview process. Our intent is to offer a salary that is commensurate for the company’s current stage of development and allows the employee to grow and develop within a role.
    • In addition to the significant stock option package, the estimated salary range for this role is $85,000-$130,000, inclusive of all levels/seniority within this discipline.
  • Freeform is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values diversity; employment with Freeform is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.