Additive Manufacturing Strategies

PrinterPrezz Acquires Greg Morris’s Vertex Manufacturing

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Next-generation medical device manufacturer PrinterPrezz acquired Vertex Manufacturing, a Cincinnati-based advanced manufacturer and full-service machining shop, for an undisclosed amount. This marks PrinterPrezz’s first acquisition, as the startup has been working more on its mission to create innovative medical devices to become the first “Medifacturing” company in the world, a term coined by PrinterPrezz to describe the blend of technologies being used to make medical products.

Vertex Manufacturing facility in Ohio

Vertex Manufacturing facility in Ohio. Image courtesy of Vertex Manufacturing.

The deal comes just months after the two companies signed a strategic alliance to enhance 3D printing workflows for the medical industry and following PrinterPrezz’s appointment of Vertex Manufacturing’s co-founder Greg Morris as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Morris has been involved in advanced manufacturing since founding Morris Technologies in 1994 and sister company Rapid Quality Manufacturing, two pioneers in the field of metal additive manufacturing (AM) and both acquired by GE Aviation in 2012. In addition to his role as CTO at PrinterPrezz, Greg Morris continued to serve as CEO of Vertex Manufacturing.

“I have been a part of the PrinterPrezz organization since its earliest phases, originally as a member of the Board of Advisors and more recently as Chief Technology Officer,” said Morris. “The opportunity to bring Vertex into the PrinterPrezz organization is an incredible opportunity for both companies’ customers. We believe the cross-pollination of various industries is a tremendous strength. As such, our Cincinnati, Ohio facility will rapidly grow to support the installation of new additive manufacturing and post-processing tools to support all of our existing customers as well as to support the increasing demand from the medical industry.”

The acquisition comes on the heels of PrinterPrezz raising $16 million from a Series A round led by Berkeley Catalyst Fund and D. One Vision Management, destined to expand its engineering teams and ramp development efforts in specialized materials and technologies to improve medical device innovation.

A 3D printed anatomical model by PrinterPrezz

A 3D printed anatomical model by PrinterPrezz. Image courtesy of PrinterPrezz

Through the new deal, PrinterPrezz gains core fundamental post-processing technologies crucial to accelerating the time to market for its medical devices. In addition, drawing on the strengths of the complementary technologies, PrinterPrezz will provide customers across multiple industries access to best-in-class proprietary technologies, intellectual property (IP), and workflows, according to PrinterPrezz CEO Shri Shetty.

“Solving the problem of the fragmented nature of the additive manufacturing supply chain, we created an end-to-end platform to optimize the process from device innovation through volume manufacturing. Over the past two years, our two companies have had a great working relationship. They immediately strengthen our technical capability and provide a location with a deep history of manufacturing expertise. We value their experience and perspective and look forward to leveraging Vertex Manufacturing’s vast knowledge as we create a global platform,” explained Shetty.

As part of the acquisition, the Silicon Valley headquartered med-tech startup will continue to primarily focus on medical devices, particularly in the orthopedic industry, by leveraging in-house regulatory experience, clinician-driven design, AM expertise, and in-house nanotechnology developments. In addition, its design, engineering, and manufacturing center will continue to maintain all requirements for medical device manufacturing.

Engineers at work at PrinterPrezz' manufacturing facility in California.

PrinterPrezz facility in Silicon Valley, California. Image courtesy of PrintrePrezz.

With a medical device market reportedly worth $432.23 billion in 2020 and demand increasing, PrinterPrezz could capitalize on a market projected to grow to $657.98 billion in 2028. In fact, it can now expand its objective to connect medicine and manufacturing thanks to the new resources from the deal with Vertex.

Furthermore, Vertex Manufacturing will keep supporting all advanced manufacturing industries like medical, aerospace, defense, oil and gas, energy, and consumer goods. Just like PrinterPrezz, Vertex’s engineering and manufacturing center in Cincinnati, Ohio, will maintain all of its current certifications, including its standards for medical device and aerospace, ISO 13485:2016 and SAE AS9100:2016 respectively, as well as remain fully ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) compliant and registered. In line with its new Federal Firearms license and ITAR registry and innovative design processes, the company revealed a few months ago that it was searching for firearm manufactures interested in metal 3D printing using laser powder bed or binder jetting technologies to replace specific metal injection molding applications.

For PrinterPrezz, solving challenges for various parts of the medical innovation value chain translates to providing prototyping, development, and manufacturing services to create life-enhancing medical devices. However, once the acquisition is complete, the company will have a greater variety of 3D printing machines, 3D manipulation software, post-processing, and 3D scanners, as well as advanced manufacturing processes and surgeon education programs. That is, a complete workflow to accelerate ideas to production to keep up with clinical deadlines and support research and development efforts from the healthcare sector and its patients.

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