AMS Spring 2023

Online 3D Printing Service Sculpteo Announces New CEO

Inkbit

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Sculpteo, BASF’s French 3D printing service, announced that the company’s new CEO is industrial designer Alexandre d’Orsetti. Promoted from in-house, d’Orsetti was previously the head of Sulpteo’s design studio for six years.

D’Orsetti has taken over the leadership role from Clément Moreau, who, along with Eric Carreel, founded Sculpteo in 2009. The company was purchased in 2019 by the largest chemical producer in the world, BASF, which is also one of the leading providers of additive manufacturing (AM) materials. BASF acquired Sculpteo via BASF 3D Printing Solutions, a division of the German conglomerate that operates under the brand name Forward AM.

In a press release, Sculpteo’s new CEO said, “Even when distribution chains were slowed down or paralyzed in a crisis context like the Covid pandemic, 3D printing ensured the continuity of various production lines. The development of new materials with efficient mechanical properties, especially by BASF, are making it possible to target new industrial applications. …For a designer, it is exciting to see how these technologies are making it possible to rethink not only the shapes and design approach for parts, but also to revisit production and supply scenarios.”

Recently, Sculpteo also became part of HP’s Digital Manufacturing Network. The company has twelve HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) machines at its French headquarters — the largest such fleet in France. This, along with Sculpteo’s far-flung reach in international markets, puts the company in a favorable position to become a hub for emerging AM supply chains.

Kupol helmet parts made by Sculpteo with Multi Jet Fusion.

Regarding its role under the BASF umbrella, it is notable that Sculpteo filled the position with someone from within, and especially, someone who has worked for the company both before and after its acquisition by BASF. This suggests not only that Sculpteo’s continuity will be maintained under the reins of a new leader, but more broadly, that it has successfully maintained such continuity since its acquisition.

Over the next few years, as the AM sector enters a new phase in its history, we will probably see many more examples of companies passing the torch from founders and/or inaugural CEOs to the next generation of leaders in the industry. It will be interesting to see the patterns that could potentially materialize. For instance, with the present case in mind: to see which types of companies tend to elevate an existing employee, versus which types tend to recruit externally.

One isn’t necessarily better than the other. But paying attention to how it, along with other questions related to new corporate leadership, continues to unfold, may likely be one more variable that helps shed light on the 3D printing industry’s trajectory in the intermediate future.

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