AMS Spring 2023

Nano Dimension Buys Ceramics and Metal 3D Printing Firms Admatec and Formatec

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Nano Dimension (Nasdaq: NNDM) announced that it has bought Admatec and Formatec, both formerly part of Precision Surfacing Solutions. This is a brilliant move by the company and extends its reach into ceramics and metals 3D printing. Formatec is a Netherlands-based ceramics 3D printing service. Admatec is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of stereolithography (SLA) machines that 3D print with metal and ceramic-loaded resins—which I refer to as “slurry SLA.”

Admatec’s conveyor belt SLA technology allows users to 3D print parts at high speed and throughput. These green components can then be sintered to create dense, technical ceramic or metal parts. The resulting detailed, yet relatively inexpensive items are great candidates for heat sinks, as Holo AM is trying to prove. The new Admaflex 300 has a larger build volume that, combined with the tape conveyor system, means that users can produce a number of accurate, low-cost parts very quickly.

In 2021, Admatec and Formatec brought in $5.3 million in revenue at a nice gross margin of 56%. In total, Nano Dimension paid $12.9 million for the firms. This is an extremely good deal—not only because of the super sweet low valuation, but also because the company has revenues already. Moreover, this is very good technology that it is acquiring and an excellent extension to Nano Dimensions’ existing technologies. The company should easily be able to find customers to whom it can cross-sell its new ceramic and metal machines.

 “The teams across Admatec and Formatec are excited to become a part of Nano Dimension. We are proud of how we have developed this business and are convinced that we shall be able to expand and accelerate our growth based on our present technology and services. We expect that the combined expertise with Nano Dimension will further establish a leading position in the high-mix-low-volume metal 3D-AM production markets,” said Jaco Saurwalt, Chief Operating Officer of Admatec/Formatec.

“Admatec/Formatec’s scientists, engineers and other team members, all of whom joined Nano Dimension upon closing of this transaction, are experts and industry veterans in AM 3D-industrial processes. They are going to continue to be led by their present management team. Admatec/Formatec’s products and services expand Nano Dimension’s Fabrica Division, adding volume manufacturing capabilities to the high precision micro-mechanical Fabrica 2.0 systems,” said Yoav Stern, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nano Dimension.

Stern went on to describe how its other recent acquisitions, including DeepCube and Nanofabrica, would fit into its larger vision. As an artificial intelligence company, DeepCube would develop the “robotic brains” for Admatec’s technology. In turn this would “improve yield and throughput and drive a more seamless integration with Nano Dimension’s Fabrica systems.”

“Admatec/Formatec’s machines and services fit the larger picture of Nano Dimension’s vision, aiming to establish ‘Industry 4.0’ solutions, which entail building an AI-based ‘distributed digital manufacturing application’ rather than just machines as capital equipment. The end goal is to reach a capability for maintaining digital inventory of high-end printed mechanical parts in digital form: print them as you need them, where you need them, only the quantity you need, in the best quality at competitive prices, with the highest yield and throughput possible for that point in time, specifically for high mix/low volume scenarios,” Stern said.

As a long term plan, an AI-based “distributed digital manufacturing” platform seems like the most sensible goal to work towards. Additionally, this acquisition gives Nano Dimension a great technology to help achieve that goal. Of all the 3D printing acquisitions I’ve seen to date, this is either the most astute or one of the most astute at the very least. This is a brilliant deal at a fantastic price that will bring benefits for Nano Dimension and its shareholders for years to come.

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