3D Systems Unveils Two Strategic Growth Acquisitions
One acquisition is of the German software firm, Additive Works GmbH, to expand simulation capabilities for rapid optimization of industrial-scale 3D printing processes.
May 7, 2021
3D Systems announces targeted investments to address application opportunities for additive manufacturing (AM) in industrial and medical applications. These investments are part of the company’s four-phase initiative to reorganize, restructure, divest non-core assets and invest for accelerated growth, which was announced in August of 2020.
Adoption of Industrial-Scale AM
3D Systems has signed an agreement to acquire Additive Works, subject to regulatory approval. Since its founding in 2015, this Bremen, Germany-based software company has focused on simulation-based optimization and automation of the AM print preparation and workflow.
Using algorithms, accessed through a user-friendly interface, Additive Works’ software allows a manufacturing engineer to rapidly determine optimum print setup, such as part orientation and support structures, as well as directly adapt the process setup for effective thermal management and distortion compensation, 3D Systems says. This automated simulation software, which interfaces with leading CAD systems as well as 3DXpert and other print platforms, increases productivity by reducing setup time while improving product yield, throughput, and component performance, according to 3D Systems.
Integrating Additive Works’ simulation expertise into 3D Systems’ software team will enhance the company’s AM software portfolio, driving accelerated AM adoption across the industrial and healthcare markets that the company serves. This includes Additive Works’ Amphyon for experts as well as the Amphyon plugin for CAD users—both of which will continue to be sold and supported to customers as a standalone offering, the companies report.
Growth Investment in Regenerative Medicine
In January 2021, after three years of development efforts, 3D Systems reported a breakthrough in its regenerative medicine program, targeted toward printing solid human organs (e.g., lungs) via a partnership with United Therapeutics. Referencing this progress, the company also announced plans to expand its regenerative medicine efforts, applying it in parallel to nearer-term, non-organ human applications.
With the company’s progress toward in vivo regenerative medicine applications, there is opportunity to extend this technology to meet the demand for advanced bioprinting solutions in medical and pharmaceutical research & development laboratories. To accelerate this laboratory focus, the company reports the acquisition of Allevi, a Philadelphia, PA-based developer of bioprinting solutions, comprising 3D bioprinters, biomaterials and specialized laboratory software. Founded in 2014, Allevi has a presencein over 380 medical and pharmaceutical laboratories in more than 40 countries. Allevi’s business model aligns with 3D Systems, and they are positioned to leverage the company's technology for in vivo applications to meet laboratory needs on an expanded scale.
This acquisition positions 3D Systems to address applications in the field of regenerative medicine, which is projected to grow by more than 15% per year by multiple research houses, and could surpass $18 billion by 2025. Through the addition of Allevi’s technologies and expertise, 3D Systems plans to develop laboratory and human applications in the near- and medium-term, and enable the development of human organs in the long term.
Commenting on these two acquisitions, 3D Systems’ President and CEO, Dr. Jeffrey Graves says, “We continue to deliver on our four-phase plan with an increasing focus on investing for accelerated growth and profitability. I’m excited by the expertise, capabilities and technologies we are adding to the 3D Systems portfolio with Allevi and Additive Works. Through these investments, we are enriching our solutions portfolio to address a much broader healthcare market, including the extremely exciting market for regenerative medicine, while accelerating the adoption rate for AM across industrial applications.”
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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