Big announcement from 3D Systems this morning: They've acquired CAD/CAM software manufacturer Alibre. Alibre current markets several versions of their 3D modeling software for pro's and hobbyists, as well as reselling several of 3D System's 3D printers as software/hardware bundles - so obviously there was a strong existing relationship between the two parties.
3D Systems CEO Abe Reichental said in his press release:
As of today, Alibre will evolve from a company name into a very important brand that, together with our Sycode productivity plugins and other new product developments, will become a leading brand in our portfolio. We plan to expand the breadth and reach of the Alibre design productivity tools and bundles across all of our channels and marketplaces.
3D Systems did not acquire Alibre for their printer reselling business. Instead, we believe this continues and supports 3D Systems' strategy of creating a complete ecosystem around their printer hardware. When linked with their previous SYCODE acquisition, Alibre's software could develop into a very powerful component of that ecosystem.
What might happen if Alibre's powerful 3D modeling software was bundled with all of 3D Systems' printers? That could make 3D Systems' hardware a lot more interesting.
Via 3D Systems (PDF)