So, the rumour I heard earlier this year — that 3D Systems was looking to acquire an established UK-based 3D printing service — has just been confirmed. And they don’t come much more established than CRDM, which was established in 1995 and is one of the UK’s original and leading service bureaux, providing rapid prototyping, rapid tooling and manufacturing services for a range of industry sectors that include automotive, aerospace, medical, defence and motor sport.
The formal announcement of the acquisition by 3D Systems has just hit the newswires and also reveals the company’s intention to immediately integrate CRDM into its global Quickparts Solutions custom parts and manufacturing services.
There are a handful of service companies in the UK that have stood the test of time and have evolved with the development of the RP/RT/RM/AM tech, growing stronger and advancing their portfolios and capabilities for industrial applications in line with said developments. The later rush of 3D printing labs in more recent years, which have sprung up in competition with the original RP bureaux, are certainly giving these companies a run for their money, but what they don’t have, yet, is longevity, or the solid industrial customer base that companies like CRDM have cultivated. So what this deal brings to 3D Systems is a much stronger presence in the UK market — a noticeable gap that has existed for a while and tends to be brought up only in whispered conversations occasionally!
You can hardly fault 3DS for plugging the gap, and the short press release issued today points to exactly that, as this line illustrates:
“CRDM extends 3D Systems’ offerings and its footprint in the UK, further positioning the company at the center of the rapidly growing, direct manufacturing opportunity.”
The full (boring!) terms of the transaction have not been disclosed at this time.