AMS Spring 2023

BCN3D Acquires 3D Printing Cloud Platform AstroPrint

Inkbit

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Mergers and acquisitions continue apace in the lead up to the AM Investment Strategies summit and RAPID 2021. The latest comes from Barcelona-based BCN3D, which has acquired AstroPrint, a developer of cloud solutions for 3D printer management. The deal began in April and was completed in July, giving BCN3D a significant addition to its product line.

BCN3D has already established a good reputation in the professional 3D printing space with its high-quality machines and independent dual extruder (IDEX) technology, capable of independently 3D printing two separate parts on the same build platform. It also offers its own variety of 3D printing materials and, just this year, released its own slicing software. The Spanish company sells its products in over 60 countries and maintains such high-profile clients as Nissan, BMW, NASA, Camper, Louis Vuitton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With AstroPrint, the firm is able to release its own cloud platform, as well as take on a team of software engineers to push its software solutions further.

BCN3D Epsilon Series Smart Cabinet at Nissan facilities. Image courtesy of BCN3D.

AstroPrint is one of the early pioneers in cloud-based 3D printer management tools, having established itself in San Diego in 2013. Since then, it has gained over 200,000 users across 140 countries, including 60 percent in the U.S. and a whopping average of 2,000 printers connected at once. AstroPrint will continue to operate independently, developing new capabilities for its users, regardless of printer manufacturer.

“We see this as a new chapter in our quest for offering the absolute best possible solution to clients across both hardware and software. We are certain that this acquisition of a company with such expertise in this field will serve to boost our BCN3D printing profile to its full potential, and that the merging of our teams will undoubtedly entail countless benefits,” said Xavier Martínez Faneca, CEO of BCN3D.

Astroprint running on a mobile device. Image courtesy of AstroPrint.

BCN3D has noted that this may be its first acquisition, but not its last, as it eyes other firms to fulfil its long-term goal of providing high-quality products. The AstroPrint team will enable BCN3D to develop new products not yet seen in the industry, according to BCN3D. Though they don’t specify what this might include, it sounds as though they’re already working on whatever it is. BCN3D and AstroPrint’s software teams will be led by AstroPrint co-founder and CTO Daniel Arroyo, who is now Chief Software Officer for BCN3D.

“Our collaboration with BCN3D brings us the challenge and pleasure of developing more advanced solutions for BCN3D clients. We are super excited to pair our software with BCN3D’s hardware in order to unlock tremendous value via deep hardware and software integrations and innovations” said Daniel Arroyo, CTO and Co-Founder of AstroPrint, and newly appointed Chief Software Officer of BCN3D.

As the market has transformed, BCN3D has become one of the more exciting professional 3D printer companies. Lower cost systems, such as Creality, have driven prices and expectations for desktop machines down, while brands like BCN3D, Ultimaker and Raise3D have continued to advance the professional space by ensuring higher quality and more features.

There is always some concern when a smaller company like BCN3D acquires another small company. Will the firm have the skills to successfully integrate the new business into their own? Does it have what it takes to growth smoothly and efficiently? Or will there be some stumbling blocks in the integration process as visions collide or budgets prove inadequate? We’ll see where it goes as BCN3D continues to move forward with its vision.

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