Contrasting the Corporate Acquisitions of Stratasys and 3D Systems

Did you ever notice there’s quite a few news releases from 3D printing companies describing their latest acquisitions? We tallied them up.

Our team spent some time perusing publicly available documents to make a comprehensive list of the corporate acquisitions of both 3D Systems and Stratasys, by far the two largest entities in the 3D printing space. Part of the reason for their size has in fact been these acquisitions that have taken place over the past fifteen years. 

First, let’s examine the list of companies acquired by 3D Systems since 2001: 

  • OptoForm SARL
  • DTM corp.
  • RPC Ltd.
  • Acu-Cast
  • AdvaTech Manufacturing
  • Moeller Design
  • Design Prototyping Technologies Inc.
  • CEP S.A. & Protometal S.A.
  • Express Pattern Inc.
  • Bits from Bytes
  • Provel, S.r.l.
  • National RP support
  • Quickparts.com
  • Accelerated Tachnologies Inc.
  • Print3D Corp.
  • Sycode
  • The3dstudio.com
  • Freedom of Creation
  • Alibre Inc.
  • Content Media Inc.
  • Formero Pty, Ltd. & XYZ Innovation
  • Kemo Modelmakerij B.V.
  • RenShape
  • Z corp & Vidar Systems
  • Quickparts
  • Kodama Studios LLC
  • My Robot Nation
  • Paramount Industries
  • Bespoke Innovations
  • Viztu Technologies Inc.
  • Rapidform
  • “TIM” The Innovative Modelmakers B.V.
  • INUS Technology Inc.
  • CO-WEB
  • Geomagic Inc.
  • Rapid Product Development group
  • Phenix Systems
  • VisPower Technology Inc.
  • CRDM Lmtd.
  • The Sugar Lab
  • Figulo Corp.
  • Village Plastics Co.
  • Gentle Giant Studios Inc.
  • Xerox’s product design/engineering group
  • Digital Playspace Inc.
  • Medical Modeling Inc.
  • Bordner and Associates Inc.
  • American Precision Maching LLC
  • Simbionix USA Corp.
  • LayerWise
  • Robtec
  • Cimatron
  • bot0bjects
  • Cimatron Ltd.

Whew! That’s a rather long list. Since 2001, 3D Systems has acquired, as far as we can determine, at least 54 different companies - that’s almost four companies per year! Now for the Stratasys list: 

  • Solidscape
  • Objet Ltd.
  • MakerBot
  • Solid Concepts
  • Harvest Technologies
  • Interfacial Solutions
  • GrabCAD
  • Econolyst
  • That’s right, Stratasys has made far fewer acquisitions than 3D Systems. For both companies, we didn’t include patents and other intellectual property gained outside of corporate acquisitions - and there has certainly been some of that, too. Nevertheless, these organizations have been responsible for consolidating at least 62 3D print-related companies into just two. 

You might think that 3D Systems has spent a great deal more money on those numerous acquisitions, but you’d be wrong. Check the chart at the top to see the difference. 

While several of the acquisitions values’ were not disclosed, we can say that our arithmetic with the available information indicates 3D Systems has spent at least USD$227M on their acquisition program, while Stratasys has spent a whopping USD$2.2B, almost ten times as much. Now, to be sure, most of that difference relates to the blockbuster Objet merger. Even so, 3D Systems has acquired 6 times as many companies, but Stratasys has invested nearly 10 times as much into only 9 companies, averaging $250m per deal, while 3D Systems averages “only” USD$4.2M per deal. 

Here we see a chart of the cumulative number of corporate acquisitions undertaken by each of the two companies over time. 3D Systems started their acquisition program in earnest a year or two before Stratasys and has continued doing so ever since 2009. Stratasys, meanwhile, buys fewer and larger companies.

Both companies sought to bolster their position in the market and it is not really fair to compare them directly in this way, as their individual circumstances differ greatly. In a future post we’ll look a bit deeper at the two acquisition programs to reveal more on their respective strategies. 

Fabbaloo correspondent & 3D Printing enthusiast Mike Difronzo - Founder WiZE 3D

Fabbaloo founder/editor Kerry Stevenson, a.k.a. “General Fabb” has been writing and exploring 3D printing with Fabbaloo since 2007. 

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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