Additive Manufacturing Strategies

CORE Industrial Partners Acquires Three More 3D Printing Companies

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Chicago private equity firm CORE Industrial Partners LLC (CORE) has $700 million of capital commitments, investing in lower middle-market industrial technology, service, and manufacturing businesses in North America. The firm works to build best-in-class companies with lasting results; a perfect example is the on-demand digital manufacturing platform FATHOM, which CORE purchased in 2018 and has since continued to grow into one of the country’s largest privately-held digital manufacturing services conglomerates after acquiring a few companies of its own.

Now, CORE is continuing its 3D printing market activity with the acquisition of three more industry companies, allowing the firm to form a brand new additive manufacturing platform, called the Company. CORE announced that it has acquired 3DXTECH LLC (3DXTECH), Triton 3D LLC (Triton), and Gearbox3D LLC (Gearbox), which is a pretty major deal in the AM equipment market.

“The investments in 3DXTECH, Triton and Gearbox align with our strategy to build an additive manufacturing platform focused on 3D printing equipment and proprietary materials,” stated John May, Managing Partner of CORE. “We believe the tailwinds from the underlying additive manufacturing sector and broader Industry 4.0 trends, in concert with CORE’s experience and sector expertise, will put the Company in a strong position to capitalize on opportunities moving forward.”

3DTECH filament.

3DXTECH filament. Image courtesy of 3DXTECH.

3DXTECH is a high-performance 3D printing filament provider for open source systems and related printing services for prototyping and production. The company also offers in-house filament extrusion, filament winding, custom filament formulation, and research and development services. Triton also provides 3D printing filament, but based solely on Stratasys-compatible materials, in addition to related 3D printing accessories, such as replacement nozzles and build sheets. Finally, Gearbox manufactures and provides open-source industrial 3D printers, like its HT2, that use thermoplastic extrusion technology, and also offers in-house printer assembly, maintenance, and R&D services.

These three AM industry companies operate together out of a 68,000 square foot facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which features all of their state-of-the-art capabilities combined, from filament winding and formulation to 3D printing services and 3D printer assembly.

“On behalf of my partner Gary Foote, the employees at 3DXTECH, Triton and Gearbox, and me, we’re excited to begin this new chapter in partnership with CORE,” said Matt Howlett, Co-Founder of the Company. “We have demonstrated rapid growth since the Company’s founding by successfully pairing our materials expertise with our disruptive 3D printing equipment technology. With CORE’s expertise and resources in the additive manufacturing industry, we’ll be able to further accelerate our growth.”

Gearbox HT2 3D printer by 3DXTECH.

Gearbox HT2 3D printer by 3DXTECH. Image courtesy of 3DXTECH.

With these acquisitions, it certainly seems that CORE has covered many of the important bases in the additive sector.

The Company was founded in 2014 and gives customers the ability to optimize their product designs through its R&D capabilities and materials expertise. It provides services, systems, and materials, focused on high-performance material extrusion, to several end markets, such as consumer, automotive, industrials, electronics, medical, and aerospace, and defense.

3DXTECH's Triton 3D carbon fiber ABS balck.

Triton 3D, a Stratasys-compatible carbon fiber ABS. Image courtesy of 3DXTECH.

“The Company is recognized as an innovative, high-growth platform with a broad range of filaments and a differentiated 3D printer offering,” explained TJ Chung, Senior Partner of CORE. “The Company’s ‘materials first’ approach and open-source model resonate with customers and provide a compelling value proposition in the high-performance additive manufacturing equipment and materials space.”

CORE received legal representation in this transaction from Winston & Strawn LLP, while Burr & Forman LLP provided legal representation to the Company. We should be telling you more about these exciting AM industry acquisitions in a few weeks, so stay tuned!

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