Japanese Materials Company Buys M. Holland 3D Printing Division

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In the latest acquisition news for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, Interfacial Consultants LLC announced its acquisition of M. Holland Company’s 3D Printing group. With this move, Interfacial’s parent company, NAGASE Group (8012:TYO), will be able to further increase its presence in the AM sector in North America and beyond.

M. Holland Joins Interfacial

Initially led by Haleyanne Freedman, M. Holland’s 3D printing division was formed in 2018 as a means of growing the market penetration of the Chicago-based distributor of thermoplastic resins. While promising, the business was kept quite small, potentially a reflection the resources M. Holland was able to commit to its AM segment.

Image courtesy of Business Wire.

“This is a perfect marriage of two complementary businesses,” said Peter Prusak, director of Business Development at M. Holland. “M. Holland will continue to offer 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions to our broad customer base, but with the added technology and resources of Interfacial.”

Aside from providing a wide range of 3D printing plastics, the 3D printing business also assists customers in engineering and production services, effectively becoming an informational hub for legacy injection molding clients transitioning to AM. This holistic approach includes training, design work, machine distribution, and even outsourcing specialized AM services. The well-equipped M. Holland division will be moving over to Interfacial, where it may be better leveraged as part of an effort on the part of NAGASE to grow its AM business.

“We’re excited to combine M. Holland’s experience developing 3D printing applications across various markets with Interfacial’s development services, specialty materials and engineered substrates,” said Carlos Aponte, who has served as M. Holland’s market manager of 3D Printing for the last year. “We expect a seamless transition for our customers and partners, who will benefit from a more robust and highly focused approach.”

About Interfacial and NAGASE

Based in Wisconsin, Interfacial has an interesting story. It was established by 3M veteran Jeffrey Cernohous in 2003 initially as Interfacial Solutions (IFS). Incubated within the larger Phillips Plastics Corporation, the company was ultimately purchased by Stratasys in 2014 as a co-developer of the 3D printing firm’s materials. Interfacial Consultants was spun out and ultimately acquired by NAGASE in 2020.

At its EMPOWR3D innovation center, Interfacial offers its own services that parallel those of M. Holland’s AM division, covering everything from initial prototyping to final production, including material development, feedstock creation, printer selection and tuning, part design, printing, and characterization. Some of the firm’s partners in 3D printing are ARBURG, Braskem, and Evolve Additive Solutions.

“M. Holland has assembled a strong team and a successful consultative business development model to drive 3D printing adoption,” said Jeff Cernohous, chief operating officer at Interfacial. “Interfacial launched its Empowr3D division in 2022, whose aim is to help industrial end users adopt 3D printing into their businesses at scale. “This combination accelerates our efforts and provides additional reach with M. Holland’s extensive customer base.”

Founded in 1832, NAGASE is a USD$5.3-billion chemicals trading firm with over 6,000 employees in 20 countries. The company has a broad portfolio of materials ranging from adhesives, coatings and conductive inks to enzymes, epoxies, and gelling agents. Through NAGASE proper, the company offers a number of resins for vat photopolymerization 3D printing. Through Infinite Materials Solutions, a filament line it began with Interfacial in 2018, the company sells specialty water-soluble support and 3D printing materials.

AquaSys is Infinite Materials Solutions’ line of soluble support filament, which includes varieties for PEEK and PEI. Image courtesy of Infinite Materials Solutions.

Given Interfacial’s location in the Midwest, the acquisition should help the company to strengthen its position here, while reaching a broader range of customers in the injection molding space. Though NAGASE is targeting the global market, its U.S. operations under Interfacial are ideally located, as the Midwest is growing to become a key hub for the country. In particular, auto and medical manufacturers will be able to tap EMPOWER3D services as the adoption of AM increases.

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