As we turn into November, we can see changes in not only the trees around us but also in the makeup of another landscape as acquisition and merger activity in the 3D printing industry continues to heat up. While much of the attention has been focused lately on GE’s $1.4 billion proposition that was thwarted and then redirected, that has by no means been the only M&A activity going on recently. Today, 3D Hubs has announced its first acquisition, as it will be integrating Printivate into its platform of operations.
3D Hubs, a global marketplace bringing together service providers and seekers, has been on a growth trajectory since winning the Inside 3D Printing Startup Competition back in 2014, including additional financing rounds infusing more investment into the expanding company. Intelligence from 3D Hubs has also long proven a valuable resource to those in the 3D printing industry, from annual 3D printer guides to quarterly trend reports to their first definitive guide to 3D printing released earlier this year. A goal of 3D Hubs’ approach to the marketplace is in automating the 3D printing process, including by software set to automate and simplify the process of working with 3D models. It is with this eye toward growth in offerings and a streamlining in services that 3D Hubs announces today’s acquisition.
“Our goal is to build the most efficient 3D print solution for professionals working in design and manufacturing. We’re going to achieve this by integrating advanced tools directly into the 3D Hubs platform.The acquisition of Printivate is another large step forward.” 3D Hubs CEO Bram de Zwart explains.
Printivate, founded in 2015, is a 3D model optimizing and fixing service that describes itself as being easy to use as well as being 3D printer and operating system independent. Service offerings include an advanced printability check (for watertightness, self intersections, incorrect face normals, and wall thickness analysis), model repair (watertightness, self intersections, incorrect face normals, removing internal geometry [shrink wrap]), hollowing, and quality aware simplification. By optimizing models prior to 3D print, Printivate reducees the potential for failed prints before even involving a 3D printer. And now this service will be integrated with 3D Hubs in order to enhance predictions of printability as well as the handling of 3D files.
“Printivate developed advanced computational software that allows 3D Hubs to simplify and automate this process. The automation will lead to faster turnaround times, lower failure rates, less handling and higher quality prints throughout the platform” says Adrian Muresan, Printivate’s founder and CEO.
Muresan will become the R&D lead at 3D Hubs’ Amsterdam office, becoming part of the team as the two companies integrate operations. The acquisition announcement notes that “the first functionality is expected to go live on 3dhubs.com before the end of the year,” a timeline showing that this integration is set to work on an expedited schedule — all the better for those looking to see print quality improving while failure rates fall. Through Printivate’s file optimization, 3D Hubs will gain the ability to streamline orders, ultimately allowing for more orders taken on at a lower cost as turnaround time is lessened for each print job.
“With the data of over 500.000+ printed parts available, the impact of the automation on both the company as well as the user is expected to be significant,” today’s announcement notes.
Reduction in failure rates serves to lower two other key components that all those seeking 3D printing services want to see at a minimum: cost and time. 3D Hubs’ first acquisition represents a calculated move on their part, and we’ll just have to wait to see whether it’s the start of a new business trend for the company. Discuss in the 3D Hubs Printivate forum at 3DPB.com.