A lot of our focus lately has been on 3D Systems and the vast medical empire they’re building within the 3D printing industry. We got to tour one of their three dedicated healthcare facilities last month, and were able to see, up close and in person, the technology the company is developing for the medical field. From Virtual Surgical Planning to 3D printed implants, 3D Systems’ healthcare solutions are playing a huge role in the company’s continued growth and success, so it’s no surprise that they continue to pursue the medical market as a major priority among their key verticals of focus.
Now it looks as though dental 3D printing is going to be moving forward into the 3D Systems spotlight, as the company has announced their acquisition of Vertex Global-Holding B.V., parent company of dental prosthetics manufacturer Vertex Dental and pioneering dental 3D printing materials developer NextDent, which last year introduced the first-ever CE Class IIa-certified, biocompatible materials for the 3D printing of long-term dental applications.
In total, NextDent has developed 12 dental 3D printing materials, which have been approved for use in more than 70 countries. Their materials allow dental professionals to create 3D printed trays, models, dentures, drilling templates, orthodontic splints, crowns and bridges at lower cost and with greater speed, precision and efficiency compared to other manufacturing methods.
3D Systems will continue to sell NextDent and Vertex Dental’s full materials portfolio to all of their current customers, but the real excitement of the acquisition comes with 3D Systems’ intention to leverage their Figure 4 large-scale stereolithography process along with NextDent’s materials to create new 3D printed dental applications.
When we spoke with VJ last month, he emphasized his confidence in the many potential healthcare applications of Figure 4, so it’s little surprise to see the company now putting the technology to work for the dental industry. Rik Jacobs, former CEO of NextDent and Vertex Dental, will join 3D Systems as CEO of their dental business. 3D Systems expects that the acquisition will immediately begin growing their non-GAAP earnings per share and cash generation.
“Our strategy is to make 3D production real by addressing key verticals, use case by use case. In this case, we’re targeting the multi-billion dollar digital dentistry opportunity,” Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi, President and CEO of 3D Systems, told 3DPrint.com. “The Figure 4 platform is the key to unlocking true production applications in plastics. When we combine Figure 4 with NextDent’s materials, we believe we will be able to offer something disruptive for the dental industry.”
“Materials science is a key driver and enabler in the transition to 3D production. We plan to leverage Vertex’s and NextDent’s deep R&D capabilities to drive materials innovation for dental and healthcare applications and beyond,” VJ told us.
“We believe 3D Systems is the perfect match to help accelerate adoption of 3D production in the dental industry and drive innovation towards next generation solutions,” said Jacobs. “We are delighted to be part of this amazing team.”
3D Systems held a conference call and webcast this morning to discuss the acquisition. If you missed it, you can access a recording of the webcast here.
Below is a look at Figure 4 technology in action as we saw it at IMTS 2016:
Discuss in the 3D Systems Vertex forum at 3DPB.com.