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The second and third realm are merging in both the literal and technological sense in France as Microlight3D acquires Smart Force Technologies, a manufacturer of micro-scale 2D systems, specializing in maskless lithography tools for rapid prototyping and customized micro-structuring. SFT is also a spin-off company from LTM, known for their research in areas such as plasma etching, advanced lithography, nanomaterials and integration, and micro- and nano-technologies for health.

Microlight3D, headquartered in Grenoble, France, was begun in 2016 after its founders spent 15 years researching and developing within the fascinating and challenging realm of 3D microprinting technology at Grenoble Alpes University. They currently offer 3D printers to the world for a variety of industrial and scientific applications, but will now be able to expand into 2D microprinting, along with continuing progress in the following areas:

  • Microfluidics
  • Microoptics
  • Microsensors
  • Microelectronics
  • Metamaterials
  • Cell biology

“Microlight3D’s acquisition of Smart Force Technologies is an ideal fit. We gain expertise in high-resolution 2D printing, that, combined with our 3D microprinting know-how, will lead us to develop new micro-fabrication systems,” said Denis Barbier, CEO of Microlight3D. “These future 2D-3D microprinting systems will respond to customer needs for faster, larger and more complex printing capabilities. Microlight3D is now in a stronger position to support a range of customer developments in the life sciences and increasingly in industrial applications.”

Microfluidics technology and applications allow researchers to create a range of micro-channels and micro-features today with 3D printing innovation. With maskless lithography, users are able to print with just one piece of equipment—and also more accurately and with more options for fabricating complex parts. Microlight3D will be able to offer new and exciting options to their clientele now, having purchased all of SFT, and their proprietary SmartPrint system. Microlight3D’s new acquisition also brings the SFT team on board, along with their extensive technical and commercial skills.

“SFT is delighted to merge with Microlight3D, whose 3D microprinting technology based on two-photon polymerization is opening up new possibilities in science and industry,” said Julien Cordiero, CEO and co-founder of SFT. “By adding our 2D microstructuring technology to Microlight3D’s portfolio means that customers who are seeking new ways to solve design challenges can greatly benefit from the quality and efficiency of sourcing from a single supplier.”

The 3D printing world thrives on collaborations, partnerships, and a variety of acquisitions, strengthening technological entities who may previously been narrowed down to one or just several niches. We have seen important collaborations in bioscience, heavy hitters in the industry partnering up to create items like 3D printed advanced medical models, and acquisitions by other companies such as Dassault Systèmes. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

The MIcrolight3D team

[Source / Images: Microlight3D]
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