April 13, 2021
Materialise has acquired an option to buy Link3D Inc., an additive workflow and manufacturing execution systems (MES) company. The acquisition will extend Materialise’s ability to help companies gain control of their manufacturing floor as they scale up their additive manufacturing (AM) capability into volume production.
In addition, the acquisition will allow Materialise to accelerate its roadmap to offer cloud-based access to its integrated software platform. It also is expected to broaden Materialise’s industrial customer base across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and offer Link3D customers a connection to Materialise’s Magics 3D print suite.
“By joining forces with Link3D, we expect to be even better positioned to provide our customers with a solution to plan, manage and optimize their AM operations,” says Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise. “This agreement exploits the synergy between the two companies and will help us to remove some of the complexity associated with scaling 3D printing as part of a connected, industrial manufacturing process.”
Link3D offers additive MES workflow software to help companies scale their digital manufacturing operations across complex supply chains and IT environments. Its MES and workflow solutions help bolster overall adoption of AM for series production in major manufacturing industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical and energy.
Streamlining Additive Manufacturing Workflows
Materialise and Link3D each offer MES-solutions that help these organizations gain control over their manufacturing floor. The synergy between the two companies will allow Materialise to help customers scale their AM capability across complex supply chains with greater operational excellence.
“At Link3D, it has always been our mission to help companies unlock the full potential of AM into their existing supply chains,” says Link3D CEO Shane Fox.
“By teaming up with Materialise, a global pioneer of the 3D printing industry, we expect to be able to offer our combined user base access to a robust and comprehensive manufacturing suite of solutions, enabling them to take Additive Manufacturing to the next level,” says Link3D Co-Founder and CTO Vishal Singh.
Software Platform Strategy
The potential acquisition is also expected to accelerate Materialise’s platform strategy to offer companies cloud-based access to its unified software platform.
Materialise has outlined a roadmap to evolve its entire software suite to a software as a service model, offering its customers cloud-based access to a complete platform of software tools to manage and control the 3D printing process more efficiently. This cloud-based software platform will provide customers across multiple industries, from aerospace and automotive to point-of-care 3D printing, access to Materialise’s complete and integrated 3D printing software suite.
“Materialise and Link3D share a commitment to support companies as they build cost-efficient and productive 3D printing factories,” says Stefaan Motte, VP and general manager of Materialise Software. “We expect that joining forces with Link3D’s talented team will help us to advance our roadmap to offer customers more flexible and reliable access to a cloud-based, unified software platform.”
Materialise has recently announced several cloud-based software solutions, including Magics Storefont, a full e-commerce and CRM solution in one platform; and the Process Tuner, an intuitive online platform that helps speed up the process tuning that is required for mass-manufacturing 3D printed parts.
Link3D provides a suite of applications for customers in the aerospace, automotive, medical and other highly regulated industries. Link3D will continue to be managed by its existing management team. Materialise expects to exercise the option before the end of the year.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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