3D Printers

3D Systems Does Metal — Finally

There has been speculation for some time that 3D Systems was looking to acquire metal 3D printing technology to complement its existing and extensive 3D printing portfolio. Metal capabilities were the glaring gap in the company’s offering. It has to be said, that the speculation was focused on a potential Scandinavian-based acquisition (my own included), but in true 3D Systems style the latest announcement has thrown a curve ball in the ring.

Just this morning, 3D Systems has announced that it has signed agreements to acquire approximately 80% of Phenix Systems, a global provider of Metal Laser Sintering 3D printers. The company is based in Riom, France. Phenix Systems — a company that often flies below the 3D printing radar — designs, manufactures and sells proprietary direct metal 3D printers that can print chemically pure fully dense metal and ceramic parts from very fine powders with the granularity of 6 to 9 microns.

Materials include stainless steel, tool steel, super alloys, non-ferrous alloys, precious metals and alumina and have been applied in a variety of aerospace, automotive and patient-specific medical device industries.
According to 3D Systems, the combination of Phenix Systems’ proprietary metal technology with 3D Systems’ extensive technology portfolio strengthens the company’s offerings and immediately positions it at the heart of fast-growing aerospace, automotive, defense and patient specific healthcare manufacturing opportunities.

Furthermore, the transaction adds complementary printers and materials, strengthens the company’s Selective Laser Sintering technology platform and is expected to be accretive to the company’s non-GAAP earnings in the first full year following the completion of transaction.

Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3D Systems commented on the news: “Phenix represents the perfect strategic fit for us and we are thrilled to welcome François Reymondet, Patrick Teulet and their entire team to 3D Systems once the deal has closed. Our complementary capabilities in advanced manufacturing combined with our effective R&D and extensive marketplace reach and coverage are sure to result in current and future direct metal solutions that will delight our customers.”

For Phenix, François Reymondet, CEO, said: “We have watched and admired 3D Systems for many years as they have driven the adoption of 3D content-to-print solutions globally.  We believe that now is the right time to combine our efforts to take advantage of the accelerating demand for direct metal production.”

The deal is expected to be finalized in July 2013.

So, not totally unexpected, and a sensible move, interesting to see how this pans out in terms of consumer offerings on Cubify too.