carMaterialise NV is a leading provider of software for additive manufacturing and provides 3D printing solutions in the medical and industrial markets as well, and lately, the company has been making a series of high-profile business moves.

The Belgian firm has just acquired CENAT, a developer of embedded computing software and solutions for additive manufacturing control systems for an upfront cash payment and earn-out payments should the deal go as planned, and Materialise says the deal was done to add new software solutions for quality control to its platform.

materialise mammothThe Materialise solution already includes tools for file preparation to automation and control systems. The company now says the addition of the embedded software and processing power of CENAT’s AM machine control systems – which Materialise helped develop – will support the firm’s quality control systems and processes required to print end-use parts in the aerospace and medical industries.

“We are very proud to welcome the CENAT team to the Materialise Group. We began collaborating with CENAT in response to a growing demand for a greater control over quality for the manufacturing end-use parts, both within our own AM facilities as well as in those of our customers,” said Materialise founder and CEO Fried Vancraen of the deal. “As the system being developed was complementary to the broad range of solutions in our Open Software Platform for 3D Printing, the decision was made to bring the CENAT system in-house and to the market as part of our broad range of software solutions for industrial additive manufacturing.”

Now 25 years in business, Materialise offers what they call a “neutral platform to link all 3D printing applications with any 3D printer in the industry.” During 2014 Materialise put together a series of partnerships with 3D printer manufacturers to create build processors that link software directly with those machines.

cenatThe company says this latest acquisition is aimed at improving the transfer of data between machine and user. Materialise, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and featuring branches around the world, has been a player in the AM field since 1990.

The deal to acquire CENAT, who is based in Gent, Belgium, means Materialise will now own the solutions to test, measure, inspect, assemble and control products in almost all segments of the manufacturing industry. CENAT is essentially four experts who specialize in the development of control systems and corresponding embedded software suite.

“We have enjoyed the close collaboration with Materialise’s R&D team in the development of an AM machine control system and look forward to furthering this work from within Materialise,” says Stijn Schacht, founder and CEO of CENAT. “By teaming up with such established players in the AM industry, we are very excited to be increasing the reach of a technology that answers a growing need for greater control over quality and repeatability.”

In yet another interesting move, aside from today’s acquisition news, i.materialise, the service bureau wing of Materialise, says they’ll offer a 10% student discount for all college and university students to create parts through the company. The discount is valid on all orders from the company’s 3D print lab by simply uploading a 3D model and choosing a material, finish and color to get an instant price quote which will include a 10% discount for students.

The discount is valid on all materials, and it will be valid until the end of this year, December 31st, 2015.

To qualify for the discount, users must be currently enrolled at an institution of higher education like a college, university or technical school and possess an “.edu” email or other official university or school email address. Users can email from their student email address to the i.materialise community email address (community@i.materialise.com) to verify the address and receive a promo code. This code will then be used at checkout when ordering 3D printing services.

Do you know about any other 3D printing business moves we should cover? Let us know in the Materialise Aquires CENAT forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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