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3D Systems Finalizes Sale of On-Demand Business, Will Operate as Quickparts

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Pioneering additive manufacturing solutions provider 3D Systems finalized the $82 million deal for the sale of its on-demand 3D printing and custom manufacturing business. The rebranded company will operate as Quickparts and inherits an established global industry brand. News of the transaction first broke out on June 1, 2021, when 3D Systems announced the acquisition by private equity firm Trilantic North America in partnership with Ziad Abou – a tenured industry pioneer and Senior Vice President of 3D Systems’ on-demand manufacturing business for nearly a decade – and other industry executives.

Starting today, Abou will lead Quickparts in the role of CEO. At the same time, 3D printing veteran and former President of 3D Systems Avi Reichental joins as Director of the Board, along with Techniplas Founder and Chairman George Votis and Charles Fleischmann, a Trilantic North America Partner.

“Our investment in Quickparts underscores Trilantic North America’s commitment and belief in the value that Industry 4.0 technologies deliver to all members of the supply chain,” commented Fleischmann. “We are incredibly excited to partner with Ziad and the entire Quickparts team to accelerate their strategic growth objectives and to drive continued expansion and increased customer success.”

Row of 3D Systems 3D printers at one of Quickparts on-demand manufacturing sites. A row of 3D Systems 3D printers at one of Quickparts on-demand manufacturing sites. Image courtesy of Quickparts.

The deal is part of 3D Systems’ four-phase plan announced a year ago by CEO Jeffrey Graves. Amid a raging corona pandemic and lockdown-related measures, the new executive announced in August 2020 that 3D Systems would be reorganizing to focus on two market verticals, healthcare and industrial, and restructuring to reduce operating costs by $100 million per year. The strategic plan meant divesting parts of the business that did not align with the new set path.

Graves had anticipated the closing of the deal during the SmarTech – Stifel AM Investment Strategies 2021 virtual summit on September 9, 2021, revealing that 3D Systems had “closed that exit about an hour ago.” He went on to say that “the service business is gone” and the “cash from the transaction is already on the company’s balance sheet,” which means we will most likely learn more about the finalization of the deal when 3D Systems publishes its 2021 third-quarter earnings report, and Graves discusses the company’s finances with investors sometime in November.

Graves also explained that the divestiture of the on-demand service was an “inherent conflict within the company” that they needed to resolve. Nonetheless, now that the transaction is done, the service bureau business is a very big market for 3D Systems to serve and support, stated the executive.

Quickparts inherited an installed base of approximately 200 in-house 3D printers across five physical locations in North America and Europe, two in the U.S., Italy, France, and England, alongside a network of manufacturing partners worldwide. Focused on offering customers rapid prototyping, functional prototyping, low-volume manufacturing, and appearance model manufacturing services, Quickparts produces 7.5 million parts every year and offers over 75 material options.

Serving a growing demand for advanced, rapid turnaround manufacturing capabilities and additively manufactured services in a number of key industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer, entertainment, and industrial products, Quickparts has completed over 40,000 projects with a wide range of clients, such as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Indy race car manufacturer Elan Motorsports Technologies (EMT), and fiberglass and aluminum insect screening product developer PhiferWire Products.

The T-Hawk unmanned micro air vehicle uses 3D pritned parts. Quickparts uses SLS 3D printing to deliver lighter and better UAVs for the U.S. Department of Defense’s T-Hawk unmanned micro air vehicle. Image courtesy of Quickparts.

The service bureau will offer customers a personalized experience with a wide range of additive manufacturing solutions to choose from. Quickparts resources include stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), direct metal printing (DMP), 3D Systems’ Figure 4 printing technology for ultra-fast print speeds, and fused deposition modeling (FDM). Alternatively, the business also provides traditional manufacturing services, such as CNC machining, injection mold tooling and parts, and die casting. For example, Quickparts helped the Steyr tractor brand create a high-quality, high-impact 1:40 scale tractor model in a short timeframe to capture attention and interest in the AGRITECHNICA global trade show exhibition. The service bureau used 3D Systems’ sPro 230 machines in DuraForm PA to 3D print the 500 scale models produced, assembled, finished, and delivered in just four weeks.

3D printed scale model of a Steyr tractor. Steyr tractors 3D printed accurate scale models of its product to give customers at a trade show. Image courtesy of Quickparts.

In the future, Quickparts says it plans to focus on expanding and advancing its services. The company maintains it wants to deliver greater value to its customers and making the strategic investments necessary to meet the accelerated demand for additively and traditionally manufactured parts today across a diverse range of end markets. Abou suggested that along with Trilantic North America, he has built a strong and positive partnership and plans to leverage their expertise, network, and guidance to assert Quickparts’ marketplace leadership by “delivering better technology-agnostic services to our customers.”

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