3D Printers

Breaking: Stratasys Acquires GrabCAD

Stratasys is going to hit the headlines with its latest acquisition. The 3D printing giant has just announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held GrabCAD, Inc. in an all-cash transaction. While the terms of the transaction have not been disclosed with the initial announcement it is expected to be completed by the end of the month, subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

Once the ‘i’s’’s have been dotted and the ‘t’s’ have been crossed, GrabCAD will be all set to operate as a unit within the Stratasys Global Products and Technology Group headed up by GrabCAD’s co-founder and current CEO, Hardi Meybaum. The motives for this new union are clearly outlined — to enable Stratasys to benefit from GrabCAD’s industry-leading software engineering team and cloud-based collaboration platform. This is one area that Stratasys could be accused of playing second fiddle to its main competitor, 3D Systems, who have developed and acquired some serious software expertise over the last couple of years. Stratasys still probably tips out on the 3D content front, since its acquisition of MakerBot and thus, Thingiverse, but this new deal will take the company up a level on the software front and bolster the 3D content vault significantly.

GrabCAD was founded by Meybaum in 2010 and has supported engineers in getting products to market faster by connecting people, content and technology. GrabCAD offers GrabCAD Workbench, a cloud-based collaboration tool that enables engineers and designers to share, view and manage CAD files and other design data. GrabCAD is also home to a community of more than 1.5 million members from around the world who can access a large public CAD file library as well as connect with other engineers.

The acquisition is expected to enable Stratasys to provide its customers with enhanced collaboration tools and improved accessibility relating to 3D CAD content. The addition of GrabCAD Workbench provides Stratasys with an opportunity to drive communication and ease of use throughout the 3D printing process and grow its technology solutions and user communities.

Only time will tell if and when it will all be bolted together.

David Reis, Stratasys Chief Executive Officer commented on the deal: “The addition of GrabCAD provides Stratasys with a leading cloud-based collaboration platform for engineering teams to manage, share and view CAD files. By increasing the collaboration and accessibility of 3D CAD files, we believe we can further accelerate the adoption of 3D printing solutions and Stratasys’ product offerings. Together with GrabCAD, we believe that we will accelerate innovation and provide increased value to a growing universe of customers seeking to utilize 3D printing solutions. We also welcome GrabCAD’s active and important community to the Stratasys family. The potential within our 3D ecosystem is very exciting.”

Meybaum further elaborated: “GrabCAD was founded to bring the world’s engineers together and help them collaborate to bring better products to market faster. By joining forces with Stratasys, a global leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, we believe we can extend the reach of one of the most exciting and innovative design collaboration technologies available. With its broad and growing customer base and worldwide presence, Stratasys can provide more customers around the world with exciting new solutions to meet their design needs.”

It’s going to be interesting to see where this one goes, but one thing Stratasys has demonstrated is that it can bring in new companies and smooth out the creases well.