3D Printing

September 2016 in review: Featuring GE, Mars, TCT show and Digical

In September of this year 3DPI reported on a number of important 3D events and conferences, as well as General Electric’s attempt to tie up the ‘largest deal in 3D printing history’.

General Electric fail in bid to acquire SLM  Solutions

General Electric attempted to acquire SLM Solutions and Arcam in a deal which was touted as the largest deal in 3D printing industry.  Germany’s SLM Solutions (ETR:AM3D) and Sweden’s Arcam AB (STO:ARCM) were the targets for a combined $1.4 billion takeover launched in September. However, the bid to purchase SLM Solutions fell through and General Electric turned to Concept Laser instead. The takeover of SLM was scuppered after a hedge fund attempted to use his stock in SLM to leverage more money from GE. It is too earlier to form a full analysis of the results of this consolidation in the 3D printing industry, however it is likely that 2017 will see a shift in the client base of the parties involved. For example, customers of Concept Laser who are also direct competitors of GE may have reason to question their continued use of the company. Likewise, SLM may pick up some of this work as they remain untied. 3DPI will be closely watching the market to see how the situation develops.

SLM Solutions stung in the tail. Photo by Michael Petch for 3DPI.
SLM Solutions investors were stung in the tail. Photo of SLM Solutions print by Michael Petch.

3D Printing on Mars

During the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico famed technologist Elon Musk updated the audience on his plans to bring man to Mars with reusable ships. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has used 3D printing parts in their Falcon 9 aircraft, printing the Main Oxidizer Valve body, and it is apparent that 3D printing is used by the company as Elon Musk has divulged this before. This conference allowed Musk to explain how this mission to Mars could be realized.

Elon Musk speaks at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo by Michael Petch for 3DPI.
Elon Musk speaks at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo by Michael Petch.

While Musk was the one encouraging people to get into the SpaceX spacecraft and permanently leave for Mars, he won’t be joining them. As he says, Mars may be “a great place to go” but won’t be among the first group of passengers being that “the probability for death is very high on the first mission,”

TCT show in Birmingham

Another event that occurred during the month of September was the TCT show in Birmingham, UK showcasing 250 companies and hosting more than 8,000 attendees. Taking place for the 21st time this year, the annual show was a great success with record numbers being reported by TCT.

Image: 3d printing industry
TCT show Birmingham. Image via 3D Printing Industry

Digical show

Finally, September featured another 3D printing event in the Digical Show which was hosted by iMakr in London. Over 2,000 people registered to attend the event with a final estimate of roughly 1,000 people visiting over the course of two days. The Digical show featured 30 exhibitors and 17 guest speakers. Exhibitors at the event included, WASP, Katjes Magic Candy Factory, MyMiniFactory, DWS, Prusa and Sinterit among many others.

The 1st annual Digical Show went down as a success. Photo via iMakr.
The 1st annual Digical Show went down as a success. Photo via iMakr.

With the recent announcement of the first annual 3D Printing Industry awards, vote for your September favorites here.

Featured image of MyMiniFactory at the Digical Show. Photo via iMakr at Digical.