3D Systems continued its acquisition strategy this week by picking up not a company but a technology. They've recently been acquiring whole companies related to 3D printing, but this one is slightly different: they've purchased what appears to be the USD$7M/yr revenue rapid prototyping arm of Huntsman, a very large chemical conglomerate.
The specifics of the deal are their SLA materials production and the Digitalis 3D printer. We'll take a closer look at the Digitalis in a future post, but we think this deal is all about the material. Huntsman produces RenShape® stereolithography, described as "a portfolio of advanced materials formulated to print durable, robust parts and prototypes with outstanding accuracy, intricate reproduction of detail and a high-quality surface finish." This is precisely what is used in many of 3D Systems' high-end 3D printers.
It seems that Huntsman produced a huge amount of the materials used by SLA 3D printers, so by adding them to the 3D Systems family will bolster their rapidly growing vertical industry structure. At this point we now see 3D Systems owning interests in: material production, 3D printer manufacturing & sales, 3D print services, 3D modeling software, 3D object designs and even retailing of 3D printed objects. Whew!
Via 3D Systems