Stratasys increases investment in Xaar 3D to 45% with option for takeover

Leading 3D printer OEM Stratasys has increased its stake in Xaar 3D, the 3D printing arm of a UK supplier of inkjet printheads, Xaar PLC, from 15% to 45%. Through this new strategic agreement, Stratasys also has the option to acquire the remaining 55% upon shareholder approval.

The aim of this investment is to accelerate the development of High-Speed Sintering (HSS) technology for end-use parts applications in low-to-medium production volumes. Omer Krieger, EVP Products, Stratasys, stated, “Xaar 3D has made significant progress over the past year and we see benefits to Stratasys in extending its investment in Xaar 3D’s innovative HSS based solutions.”

“We look forward to continue developing the technology together with Xaar and believe the combined expertise of both parties will lead to the exploitation of the technology’s promising potential.”

Due to its size and speed, a HSS machine can produce up to 100,000 individual parts per day. Photo via: Xaar
Due to its size and speed, an HSS machine can produce up to 100,000 individual parts per day. Photo via: Xaar

Stratasys and Xaar 3D

Stratasys helped form Xaar 3D in 2018 for the purpose of commercializing HSS technology. Xaar 3D Director of Technology Professor Neil Hopkinson invented and patented HSS at Loughborough University. It is an industrial polymer 3D printing process harnessing the Xaar’s piezo inkjet printheads for faster end-use production.

During the genesis of this technology, which was funded by 3D Systems, the viability of SLA 3D printed molds for injection molding was explored. Professor Hopkinson sought to combine the two processes, eliminating the mold-making process, ultimately accelerating rapid prototyping.

Following the establishment of Xaar 3D, Chuck Cadena, Head of Global Public Relations at Stratasys, told 3D Printing Industry, “[We] see the potential to leverage High-Speed Sintering technology to enhance our portfolio of solutions for manufacturers. The new company could leverage Xaar’s knowledge of HSS and our market and applications knowledge.”

At this time, Stratasys held 15% of the joint venture with an option to obtain 30%.

Xaar's HSS system, nicknamed "Little Blue" in action. Original video and clip by Beau Jackson
Xaar’s HSS system, nicknamed “Little Blue” in action. Original video and clip by Beau Jackson

Accelerating High-Speed Sintering

Now, with the potential of taking full control of Xaar 3D, Stratasys remains focused on developing hardware-based on HSS. Krieger added, “This continues our company’s strategy of complementing our own robust R&D efforts with partnerships and investments in other innovative companies to develop new capabilities and products that create new value to our customers.”

Doug Edwards, CEO of Xaar plc, concluded, “Xaar 3D has great potential and we look forward to continuing to work with Stratasys to develop its full potential in this deeper relationship. I am pleased that this transaction will create good value for Xaar shareholders and unlocks the ability for more significant value in due course.”

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Featured image shows 3D printed parts made with HSSS technology. Photo via Xaar.