Business

Materialise continues to expand with acquisition of German metal specialist ACTech

Materialise (NASDAQ:MTLS), a leading 3D design software and additive manufacturing company headquartered in Leuven, Belgium has acquired ACTech.

Based in Germany, ACTech are specialists in the production of short runs of “highly complex cast metal parts.”

Wilfried Vancraen, founder and CEO of Materialise said, “ACTech knows metal and how to shape it to production standard, and we know Metal 3D Printing. Bringing those two competencies together is vital to the delivery of high added-value metal 3D-printed parts for specialized applications.”

Materialise acquires ACTech machining. Photo via Materialise.
Materialise acquires ACTech machining. Photo via Materialise.

Accelerating growth of metal 3D printing

With more than 20 years experience and knowledge gained from the production, treatment and QI of metal components it is anticipated that the by joining Materialise, the Belgian company will be able to further accelerate growth at their metal competence center. A statement from Materialise said the purchase will allow them to. “take a strong position in the market for the production and delivery of unique, complex 3D-printed metal parts.

Wilfried Vancraen added, “Through the acquisition, we are further enhancing the manufacturing and software backbone position that will support the entire industry. For over 27 years, we have always been there as a leading, comprehensive provider of solutions in industrial polymers printing. That position has enabled us to both develop and serve a growing demand for certified manufacturing with dedicated software and solutions.”

“By joining forces with ACTech, we will accelerate that same strategy for metal manufacturing”

Beginning immediately ACTech customers have also have access to metal 3D-printed parts for pre-production design iterations.

Inside the MGX showroom at Materialise HQ. Photo by Michael Petch.
Inside the MGX showroom at Materialise HQ. Photo by Michael Petch.

Materialise continues to expand

The acquisition of ACTech is the latest event in a strong year for the company. In January, it was officially announced that Materialise’s 3D printing software was fully integrated into Siemens NX. More recently the company expanded its HQ in Leuven.

Partnerships with eyewear companies, including Italian glasses company Safilo and HOYA Vision Care have also been a key feature of the year. This is an area Vancraen views as highly significant for his company, “Eyewear has discovered 3D printing and there is a huge opportunity because eyewear on its own is larger than hearing aids and dental together.”

Materialise are also the largest 3D printing bureau in the world, owning approximately 150 industrial additive manufacturing machines. The company is soon to become the owner of an additional two HP MultiJet Fusion 3D printers, bringing the total at the company to ten.

Fried Vancraen, CEO and founder of Materialise, watches the opening of the 2017 Materialise World Summit. Photo by Michael Petch.
Fried Vancraen, CEO and founder of Materialise, watches the opening of the 2017 Materialise World Summit. Photo by Michael Petch.

Most recently expansion of the enterprises activities in Poland took place with a new facility focused on SLS additive manufacturing. When I spoke recently with the Materialise CEO I heard how the Polish factory will be used to handle the ramp up in demand coming from applications such as eyewear. In addition to the polymer powder 3D printing and the site, investment in post-processing is also taking place.

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Featured image photo via Materialise.

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