In acquisition news, both 3D Systems and Stratasys made impressive announcements recently. For 3D Systems, the latest acquisition news is focused entirely on medical applications of 3D printing —potentially the most inspiring vertical market and certainly the most life-changing. The 3D printing giant announced that it has acquired Medical Modeling Inc., a leading and long-time provider of personalized surgical treatments and patient specific medical devices. Medical Modeling was an early pioneer in the field of 3D printing-centric personalized surgery and patient-specific medical device solutions.
In line with the acquisition announcement, 3D Systems has also said that it plans to consolidate all of its healthcare activities into a single unit under the leadership of Andy Christensen, who was simultaneously named as 3D Systems’ Vice President, Personalized Surgery and Medical Devices.
Stratasys on the other hand concentrated on acquiring 3D printing service bureaus, and thereby extending its own service offering. Along with a secondary announcement, pointing to further R&D into material development. The other industry giant announced it has acquired Solid Concepts, the US’s largest 3D printing service, and Harvest Technologies, a speciality additive manufacturing service bureau. The strategic reasoning behind these acquisitions goes well beyond emulating its biggest competitor 3D Systems, which has been acquiring companies for most of the past decade with a steep escalation in the past couple of years.
By unifying its own RedEye additive manufacturing service with Solid Concepts’ and Harvest Technology’s infrastructure, machines, process knowhow and end-use parts production capabilities, Stratasys intends to establish one additive manufacturing service business unit, which will be the largest 3D printing hub in North America, offering services to all industry production sectors from medical to aeronautics.
This news was closely followed by Stratasys making a further announcement, whereby the company has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Wisconsin-based Interfacial Solutions, a provider of thermoplastics R&D and production services. For the last three years, Interfacial Solutions has been a partner to Stratasys for its FDM product lines. Stratasys expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to the fulfillment of certain customary closing conditions.
Here at 3DPI we are looking forward to seeing where these industry giants go next.