In a week marked by significant activity, UK-based Solid Solutions made two noteworthy strides in the 3D printing industry through strategic acquisitions. Initially, Solid Solutions’ subsidiary, Solid Print3D, took over Stockholm-based 3DVerkstan, a 3D printing equipment seller recently declared bankrupt. Subsequently, Solid Solutions further strengthened its market position by acquiring another UK-based company, 3DPRINTUK. As part of the acquisition deal, 3DPRINTUK is poised to join the US-based TriMech Group, a provider of on-demand engineering and design services, which had previously acquired Solid Solutions in June 2022. These transactions not only underscore a period of considerable consolidation within the 3D printing industry but also highlight its ongoing global expansion.
Bankrupt, bought, reborn
Over the past year, 3DVerkstan undertook a strategic shift, transitioning from a distribution model to direct sales, establishing a subsidiary in Denmark, and expanding its workforce. In January 2023, a leadership change saw Patrik Rosén assume the role of CEO from Daniel Ljungstig, one of the company’s original co-founders. Simultaneously, the firm implemented cost-cutting measures and other efforts to boost sales. However, despite these strategies, the company encountered unforeseen business hurdles. Facing a financially challenging summer ahead, 3DVerkstan made the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy.
Following this announcement in April, 3DVerkstan, grappling with liquidity issues, began its quest for a suitable buyer. The aim was not just to sell the company but to find a new steward who would guide the organization into its next growth phase — what could be described as “3DWorkshop 2.0.” Soon enough, Solid Print3D stepped in to ensure the continuation of the business.
Commenting on the acquisition, Solid Print3D Managing Director Neil Sewell said: “There are clear synergies between 3DVerkstan and Solid Print 3D, from their incredible team, products, culture to the fantastic leadership – I believe together we can build quickly to deliver positive results, allowing the 3DVerkstan team to continue to deliver the amazing support and service to their customers.”
Rosén also revealed that after three very hectic weeks, they have found Solid Print3D, which now will take 3DVerkstan into the next phase. He also said this new ownership will help further develop the firm’s role as one of the strongest and most appreciated AM-supplier on the Nordic market, now with a solid and strong backer.
As a leading 3D printing service supplier, the acquisition of 3DPRINTUK significantly enhances its service offering and allows it to benefit from the resources of a bigger company as it continues to serve its UK customer base. Founded in 2011, 3DPRINTUK specializes in low-volume production using selective laser sintering (SLS) and multi-jet fusion (MJF) additive manufacturing (AM) systems, along with a range of post-processing capabilities. The company bridges the gap between prototype and injection molding for clients spanning a range of sectors, from consumer products to marine and aerospace.
Following the acquisition, 3DPRINTUK will become the dedicated 3D printing service team for the TriMech Group in the UK. This partnership will enable collaboration between 3DPRINTUK and TriMech’s advanced manufacturing services experts in North America, facilitating the deployment of best practices and emerging technologies on an international scale to benefit its customers.
According to 3DPRINTUK CEO Nick Allen, joining forces with Solid Solutions is the natural next step for the company. This collaboration will accelerate their growth potential, expand and enhance customer services, and provide access to the expertise and resources of a larger group of companies. Importantly, the acquisition by Solid Solutions ensures that 3DPRINTUK can maintain its current management and staff while gaining the necessary resources to expand its services.
TriMech’s CEO Alan Sampson emphasizes that clients are seeking deep expertise and a single technology partner who can guide and advise them while offering products and services that impact all aspects of their business. The addition of 3DPRINTUK, along with other strategic acquisitions, strengthens TriMech’s ability to provide professional and reliable services that quickly fill clients’ gaps and keep their projects on track, explained the executive.
In addition to the acquisition of 3DPRINTUK, Solid Solutions made earlier acquisitions of recruitment specialists Solid People and Solid Print3D, while 3DPRINTUK acquired GRM Consulting, a provider of design optimization services. These acquisitions collectively enhance Solid Solutions’ position as a premier partner in the advanced design, engineering, and manufacturing sectors worldwide.
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