CORE Industrial Partners acquires 3DXTECH, Triton and Gearbox to form new AM platform

CORE Industrial Partners, an investment firm specializing in middle-market manufacturing companies, has expanded its portfolio of 3D printing businesses with three new acquisitions.

Michigan-based 3D printing materials manufacturer 3DXTECH, and its subsidiaries Stratasys-compatible filament provider Triton 3D and open-source 3D printer provider Gearbox 3D, will all join CORE Industrial Partners’ portfolio to form a “new additive manufacturing platform”.

Bolstering CORE’s already substantial cluster of 3D printing companies, the new platform will provide 3D printers, materials, and services for high-performance material extrusion technologies.

“The investments in 3DXTECH, Triton, and Gearbox align with our strategy to build an additive manufacturing platform focused on 3D printing equipment and proprietary materials,” said John May, Managing Partner of CORE. “We believe the tailwinds from the underlying additive manufacturing sector and broader Industry 4.0 trends, in concert with CORE’s experience and sector expertise, will put the Company in a strong position to capitalize on opportunities moving forward.”

The platform will benefit from 3DXTECH’s broad range of high-performance 3D printing filaments. Photo via 3DXTECH.
The platform will benefit from 3DXTECH’s broad range of high-performance 3D printing filaments. Photo via 3DXTECH.

CORE Industrial Partners’ AM portfolio

The acquisitions of 3DXTECH, Triton and Gearbox are the latest in a string of investments by CORE over the past few years. 

In 2018, the private equity firm acquired 3D printing service provider Midwest Composite Technologies, before buying out digital manufacturing specialist ICOMold and additive manufacturing service specialist FATHOM in 2019. At the time, CORE revealed its ambition to build its own “leading Industry 4.0 additive manufacturing company.”

Since then, CORE’s intention to form a multi-technology, on-demand manufacturing empire has continued to shine through with the acquisitions of a sheet metal engineering firm and a photochemical etching specialist last year. 

Most recently, the private equity firm acquired metal 3D printing bureau GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services (GPI) to strengthen its direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology offering

The Gearbox HT2 3D printer. Photo via 3DXTECH.
The Gearbox HT2 3D printer. Photo via 3DXTECH.

Forming a “new additive manufacturing platform”

With the acquisitions of 3DXTECH, Triton, and Gearbox, CORE is forming a “new additive manufacturing platform” in addition to its existing portfolio of 3D printing companies, which will leverage each of the firms’ expertise. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed by the firm, although Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal representation to CORE during the transaction while Burr & Forman LLP represented 3DXTECH. 

The combined platform will benefit from 3DXTECH’s broad range of high-performance 3D printing filaments for open-source printers and printing services, Triton’s Stratasys-compatible 3D printing filaments and accessories, and Gearbox’s industrial-grade, open-source extrusion 3D printers. 

Founded in 2014, 3DXTECH, Triton and Gearbox operate out of a 68,000 square foot facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The facility offers multiple in-house capabilities, from filament extrusion, winding, and custom formulation, to 3D printer assembly and testing, alongside 3D printing services for both prototyping and production applications. 

“The Company is recognized as an innovative, high-growth platform with a broad range of filaments and a differentiated 3D printer offering,” said TJ Chung, Senior Partner of CORE. “The company’s ‘materials first’ approach and open-source model resonate with customers and provide a compelling value proposition in the high-performance additive manufacturing equipment and material space.”

3DXTECH currently serves a wides range of end markets, including aerospace, defense, electronics, medical, and automotive, to name but a few. Joining CORE’s portfolio of 3D printing bureaus and wider on-demand manufacturing portfolio will enable the company to grow its reach further still. 

“On behalf of my partner Gary Foote, the employees at 3DXTECH, Triton and Gearbox, and me, we’re excited to begin this new chapter in partnership with CORE,” said Matt Howlett, Co-founder of 3DXTECH. “We have demonstrated rapid growth since the company’s founding by successfully pairing our materials expertise with our disruptive 3D printing equipment technology.

“With CORE’s expertise and resources in the additive manufacturing industry, we’ll be able to further accelerate our growth.”

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Featured image shows CORE Industrial Partners has acquired 3DXTECH and its subsidiaries Gearbox and Triton. Photo via 3DXTECH.