Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Systems Acquires Metal 3D Printing Company LayerWise

ST Medical Devices

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layer1Earlier this morning, we did a story about Arcam, one of the leaders within the metal additive manufacturing space, who announced their acquisition of DiSota Technologies. The acquisition should allow the company to expand its electron beam manufacturing into the orthopedic medical implant space. In the article, we mentioned that this acquisition was coming on the heals of their competititor, 3D Systems’ all out acquisition spree within the medical space over the last year or so.

Well, it appears that 3D Systems just added another tool to their toolbox in the battle for metal 3D printing supremacy. This morning, they too announced an acquisition, this time purchasing Belgium-based LayerWise. LayerWise has its own line of proprietary direct metal laser sintering machines, and has its hands in several key areas which utilize additive manufacturing, including high-precision equipment, aerospace, and dentistry. For the last six years, the company has been building, innovating, and adapting their laser sintering technologies which can fabricate objects with a 99.98% relative part density, comparable to conventional metals, but at a fraction of their weight.  The company gained significant notoriety when they printed a lower jaw implant, the first of its kind, for an elderly patient back in 2012.

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“We are delighted to integrate our proprietary direct metal technology and processes into 3D Systems’ leading portfolio of products and services,” said Jonas Van Vaerenbergh, one of LayerWise’s founders. “With its culture of continuous innovation dating back to its founder Chuck Hull, the inventor of the first 3D printing technology, and its commitment to advancing direct metal 3D technology and medical device services, 3DS is the perfect fit for our company and strengthens our combined growth potential.”

3D Systems expects the acquisition to immediately add to their top line, while providing the company with an even larger lead within the advanced metal manufacturing space. The acquisition should expand 3D Systems’ already successfullayer4 metal printing service capabilities, while adding direct metal printing expertise to the company’s talent assets, as well as valuable intellectual property.

“The addition of LayerWise, with its award-winning direct metal printing technology, automated manufacturing processes at convincing scale and leading medical devices services, extends our first mover advantage in these high-growth areas substantially, to the immediate benefit of our aerospace, automotive and medical device customers,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3D Systems.

LayerWise co-founders, Peter Mercelis and Jonas Van Vaerenbergh, will continue to oversee operations of this business unit, as they seek to expand their reach by taking advantage of the resources and portfolio of clientele, that 3D Systems has established over the years. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. Discuss this very interesting acquisition, and what it could mean for the industry as a whole, in the 3D Systems/LayerWise forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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