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Prototek Expands Midwestern 3D Printing with Purchase of Prototype Solutions Group


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Prototek continues its acquisition spree, which is seeing the North American digital manufacturing provider quickly grow its CNC machining, sheet metal, and additive manufacturing (AM) services. With the latest purchase of Prototype Solutions Group (PSG), the firm adds further CNC, 3D printing, and cast manufacturing to its repertoire.

Prototek Expands 3D Printing in the Midwest

Based in northern Wisconsin, about an hour easy of Minneapolis, MN, PSG is now Prototek’s third location in the state, alongside Midwest Prototyping, the company’s AM division headquarters, and Grafton, a sheet metal and machining operation. In particular, PSG’s novel casting techniques will be a new addition to Prototek’s portfolio.

Altogether, this provides Prototek with further support for its Midwestern U.S. manufacturing capacity, which now includes 11 facilities, over 300 employees, and over 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space across the U.S. Other sites include Colorado, New Hampshire, Northern California, and Pennsylvania. Prototek holds ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D:2016 certifications and is International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registered.

Co-founder and President of PSG Alan Anderson will continue to oversee the site’s operations with his management team. Meanwhile, he will also act as strategic operational advisor to Prototek. Bill Gress, CEO of Prototek, noted:

“Al and his team have built a great business in PSG. They have continued to grow and evolve the last 17 years into a truly impressive organization and their synergies with Prototek are undeniable. I’m confident that they will be instrumental in bolstering our continued effort to build a best-in-class, one-stop digital manufacturing solution.”

“I’m very excited to work with Bill and the Prototek team to grow this organization. I have enjoyed my years helping to build PSG, but the opportunity to leverage the resources and capabilities of a larger organization to realize a broader vision was the logical next step,” said Alan Anderson. “What Prototek is trying to do by becoming a comprehensive leader in the digital manufacturing space is something I wanted my company to be part of, and I’m really excited for the career growth opportunities this affords my team here at PSG.”

PSG’s facility in Wisconsin.

3D Printing Service Consolidation

The purchase falls in line with a broader trend of consolidation in the service bureau space. In North America in particular, CORE Industrial Partners is leading the charge, scooping up as many digital manufacturers as it can under the FATHOM brand. A decade ago, Stratasys and 3D Systems were performing the same strategy. For the former, this resulted in Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, which continues to operate today. For the latter, Quickparts was ultimately sold last year. Then, of course, there are Proto Labs, Xometry, Shapeways, Materialise, GKN, and BASF/Sculpteo/Replique.

For the North American market, there is still growth to be had, especially as additive manufacturing is increasingly used as a bridge technology in supply chain disruptions. We can expect both CORE and Prototek to continue purchasing service bureaus on the continent, with a focus on the U.S. At what point will they begin colliding with the industry’s stalwarts? Will we begin to see mergers between the larger players in the service sector? It seems likely.

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