3D Printers

The Next Frontier for Stratasys is Metal

According to a report from Bloomberg yesterday, who has the information straight from the horse’s mouth, Stratasys, following its acquisition of Makerbot last week, is now looking to further consolidate its position in the 3D printing industry with further mergers and/or acquisitions. This time, the focus for adding new processes is at the other end of the spectrum of 3D printing — metal. Scott Crump, Stratasys’ long time Chairman, revealed to Bloomberg reporter, Edmond Lococo in Beijing:

“Because there is so much opportunity we also will selectively grow though M&A.” This in itself is not huge news, but when Crump went on to qualify this statement, that’s when it got interesting: “We have an organic project to get Stratasys into additive metal. It’s rational to say that through M&A we want to expand with different technology on a dual path.”

After the Makerbot deal, and even before it actually, metal was indentified as a hole in the Stratasys portfolio of industrial 3D printing systems. And while several industry commentators have commented on Stratasys being slightly behind the curve on their major competitors, 3D Systems, when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, which I don’t dispute on the surface. Stratasys’ approach has tended to be much more measured and conservative than 3D Systems, but it seems the company is becoming much more bullish in its approach. Makerbot was a bit of a coup, in my opinion, and I would not be at all surprised if the metal acquisition turns out to be the same.

Of course, speculation, a game Stratasys seems to like playing with the media these days, will ramp up following Crump’s comments as to who the target(s) are, but I would not be at all surprised if there is already a deal on the table in a board room somewhere around the world. Question is, will it be Scandinavia, Germany, the UK, or will Stratasys turn to a metal company on home soil in the US?

Image Credit: i.materialise – printed metal part using DMLS.