3D Systems targets defense and automotive markets with new board appointments

3D Systems has appointed two new board members in a move that continues their strategic approach to five key market segments. Having previously announced that focus would be on Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Healthcare, Durable Goods and Teaching & Training institutes, the new board members bring substantial experience and connections in the first two markets.

A spokesperson for 3D Systems told us that, “The two new members to the Company’s Board of Directors aligns with the Company’s strategy and focus on being a 3D manufacturing solutions company with a focus on key vertical applications. Both Charles G. McClure, Jr. and Jeffrey Wadsworth bring invaluable expertise and executive leadership experience within key verticals.”

Aerospace, defense and automotive experience

Charles “Chip” G. McClure, Jr has more than 35 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Mr. McClure served as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of Meritor, Inc.; CEO, President and member of the Board of Federal Mogul Corp.; and President, CEO and member of the Board of Detroit Diesel. He joined Detroit Diesel after 14 years in a variety of management positions with Johnson Controls, including Vice President and Managing Director of the company’s European and South African operations and President of the company’s Americas region.

Dr. Wadsworth’s experience is in the Aerospace and Defense segment, again his CV is substantial,

Executive Vice President, Global Laboratory Operations at Battelle; Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Director of Homeland Security Programs at Battelle and part of the White House Transition Planning Office; Chief Executive Officer and President of UT-Battelle LLC; and Senior Vice President for U.S. Department of Energy Science Programs at Battelle during his 16 years with Battelle. Prior to that, Dr. Wadsworth served as the Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Research and Development Division.

3D printing opportunity in production

When 3D Systems CEO and President Vyomesh Joshi (VJ) addressed the audience at last year’s IMTS, a key message was the importance of end use applications for the company’s broad range of 3D printing and related technology.

Since September, on earnings call and in interviews with publications such as 3D Printing Industry, VJ has repeated this message. The healthcare segment was chosen to lead this strategy, and during a visit the company’s Colorado facility I saw how this translates into day-to-day operations. High profile success stories, such as the landmark operation to separate the conjoined McDonald twins, are complemented by hundreds of less high profile medical applications for 3D Systems technology. This work is supported by application engineers able to guide healthcare professionals through the process, explaining the use of the technology.

3D Systems opened a 3D printing healthcare center back in March. Image via 3D Systems.
3D Systems opened their 3D printing healthcare center in March 2016. Image via 3D Systems.

Vertical integration within the healthcare segment is also evident with the acquisition of Vertex-Global Holding B.V in January this year. Purchase of the dental materials company gives 3D Systems direct access to NextDent’s portfolio of 3D printing materials.

Additional centers of excellence?

In Aerospace and Defense 3D Systems has several high value contracts with market leaders. One contract focused on integrating predictive technologies with 3D Systems additive technology is with the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Manufacturing (UDCCM), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMCO). A second contract with the Applied Research Laboratory of Pennsylvania State University and in partnership with Honeywell International and Northrop Grumman Corporation relates to metal additive manufacturing.

Thales Alenia and 3D Systems DMP.
Thales Alenia and 3D Systems DMP.

These two contracts alone are valued at over $1 million.

With this new board appointment, the company are set to expand operations at their defense center of excellence later this year. Following the healthcare model exemplified by the state-of-the-art Colorado facility, 3D Systems will seek to apply their technology in Aerospace to, “accelerate the supply chain and encourage innovation at every level, including product development, inspection and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

As we have previously reported, MRO additive applications are already in use within the 3D printing industry. For example, GE’s appointment of Rhinestahl to service the LEAP engine using 3D printed tools. Furthermore, tooling in aerospace (and other industries) presents an attractive value proposition for the use of additive manufacturing. At Boeing a BAAM tool for the 777x has cut costs by 70%.

Regarding today’s appointments, Vyomesh Joshi says, “The addition of Mr. McClure and Dr. Wadsworth to our Board reinforces our commitment to enhance management and the Board in line with our customer centric strategy to drive profitable growth through focused execution.”

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Featured image shows 3D Systems CEO VJ during IMTS. Photo by Michael Petch.