As one of the leading 3D printing companies in the world, Markforged (NYSE: MKFG) has created an integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing (AM) platform called the Digital Forge, and one of the key components of that is software. Markforged already boasts its patented Eiger slicer and 3D print preparation tool. Yet, hoping to expand its software offering, the Massachusetts-based business has now acquired Teton Simulation, whose trademarked SmartSlice technology automates validation and optimizes part performance for AM applications.
Although the exact price and terms of this deal have not yet been disclosed, we do know that Markforged will integrate Teton’s technology with its 3D printing software solution Eiger, as a subscription add-on that will offer all manufacturing customers––including small- and medium-sized businesses––a streamlined workflow spanning part design, testing, optimization, validation and printing at the point of need, all on a single, cloud-based platform. First and foremost, it will enable manufacturers to validate advanced composite parts for their most demanding production applications.
Since coming out of stealth mode at the SolidWorks World trade show almost a decade ago, Markforged has been on a strong growth trajectory, attracting advisors, investors, and talent. Driven primarily by organic growth, in July 2021, the firm made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange after a merger deal with blank-check company one. Fast forward to today, and Markforged has raised a total of $346.8 million in funding over seven rounds and boasts backers like Microsoft, Porsche, and Siemens to fuel its 3D printing growth.
With an equity valuation of roughly $2 billion, Markforged recently announced better-than-expected full-year 2021 earnings and anticipated revenue growth of 30% for 2022. Building up its portfolio to scale distributed global production, Markforged’s latest move seems to complement its plans and is in line with a wave of 3D printing mergers and acquisitions that grew strong in 2021.
Optimizing the software suite
This new and first acquisition will enhance Markforged’s lead in distributed manufacturing by extending its end-to-end platform with fast, automated validation of the most demanding end-use parts and applications. Furthermore, the company claims that the deal adds strategic functionality to the Digital Forge to give Markforged’s thousands of users confidence that printed parts will perform as intended, enabling them to replace even more end-use metal parts with validated Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR).
Markforged President and CEO Shai Terem said that the acquisition advances Markforged’s industry leadership in using software to increase process automation and offers customers an easy way to validate their parts on the same platform they use to print them, the Eiger software suite.
“Adding this functionality enables our customers to utilize The Digital Forge deeper into their manufacturing operations. I am excited to welcome the Teton team to Markforged, as we share the vision of leading the future of distributed manufacturing. Together, we continue to strengthen our team and enable our customers to produce mission-critical, end use parts,” continued Terem.
This addition to Markforged’s software offerings is expected to help customers take the guesswork out of configuring slicing parameters for end-use requirements, knowing they can estimate part performance without the wasteful and slow physical testing process.
Moreover, Teton Simulation’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Brady Adams said the integration and fit of the cloud-native simulation software into Markforged’s Digital Forge platform would provide the perfect home to develop the next level of additive manufacturing solutions.
“So many elements of The Digital Forge, including CFR, are game changers and I am so excited to get an opportunity to integrate our advanced simulation technology to help manufacturers all over the world take additive to the next level,” described Adams.
Launched in 2016, Teton Simulation is an expert software technology startup that enables rapid validation and optimization of 3D print parameters. Overall, it ensures that performance and manufacturing requirements are realized.
Headquartered in Wyoming, the company developed its proprietary SmartSlice technology, which embeds into existing slicer programs. Aiming to replace the standard print-break-repeat prototyping cycle to speed development and reduce the time and cost of production, Teton has teamed up in the past with 3D printing firms, like BCN3D and Cura, to provide users access to the powerful SmartSlice system.
The win-win deal benefits Markforged software performance while allowing Teton’s software offering to reach a broader customer base than ever before. As soon as the agreement is finalized, Teton’s team will join Markforged’s software organization to help the Digital Forge solve even more industrial manufacturing challenges.
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