Additive Manufacturing Strategies

GE Additive Acquires 3D Printing Simulation Software Provider GeonX

ST Medical Devices

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Last year, GE went through a period where it seemed to be acquiring companies left and right, notably Concept Laser and Arcam, and it tried but did not succeed to acquire SLM Solutions. The acquisitions were part of building up the recently launched GE Additive business, which is now in the acquisitions game again. Today, the company announced that it has acquired GeonX, a privately owned developer of simulation software.

GeonX provides simulation software for engineers developing new products. The company is known for its Virfac (Virtual Factory) software, which simulates processes such as additive manufacturing, welding, machining and heat treatment. The tool assesses products prior to production and predicts any defects, distortions or stresses, as well as the impact the manufacturing process will have on the product’s durability. This allows for fewer prototypes during development, while improving the final products’ quality and longevity. Overall, it reduces time to market and development costs. Virfac is geared toward a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace and energy.

“As a business, GE Additive is committed to accelerating the additive manufacturing industry,” said Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President and General Manager, GE Additive. “Innovative simulation software solutions like Virfac do just that by adding real value to our customers who want to speed up product design and development, while maintaining the best possible quality. We’re delighted to welcome GeonX to the GE Additive family.”

Headquartered in Belgium, GeonX also has offices in France and the United States. It was founded in 2012 with the intention of creating a tool to help engineers and manufacturers better develop new products for virtual simulation. The company has developed several different Virfac modules; the additive manufacturing module combines advanced slicing features with thermo-mechanical-metallurgical analysis. The slicing features allow the user to automatically generate macro-layers from CAD geometry. The user can also optimize the build orientation and support configuration, and can verify the influence of the operating conditions on distortions, strains and stresses. The module works with SLM, EBM and LMD processes.

“GE Additive is the innovator in the additive manufacturing sector and we’re thrilled to join the team,” said Laurent D’Alvise and Michel Delanaye, co-founders and CEOs of GeonX. “Software is of course integral to digital transformation, so we are equally excited to be part of GE’s Digital Industrial journey.”

(L to R) Michel Delanaye, co-founder and CEO, GeonX, Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President and General Manager, GE Additive, Laurent D’Alvise, co-founder and CEO, GeonX [Image: Business Wire]

GeonX introduced its latest Virfac offering earlier this year, at around the same time it expanded into the US with a new office in Cincinnati. The company has been on a path of expansion, both geographically and in terms of product offerings – particularly those related to additive manufacturing.

“We have a background in welding and are extending that expertise to additive manufacturing,” D’Alvise told 3DPrint.com in May. “It is quite natural for us to go into additive manufacturing.”

With its increased focus on additive manufacturing, it’s not surprising that GeonX should choose to become a part of GE Additive. It’s likely that we will continue to see that part of its business expand.

Terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed.

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