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Stratasys Makes A “Large” Move

Industry giant Stratasys has invested in Massivit 3D, and we think this is an interesting strategic move and it’s not surprising given the numerous entanglements between the companies. 

But wait, who is “Massivit 3D”? They are an Israeli company that produces very large format 3D printers using a unique gel process. You likely haven’t heard of them because their market is quite small - very few companies require such large machines.  In fact, their machine can print in sizes up to 1500 x 1200 x 1800mm, a huge size indeed. 

Their “gel dispensed printing” (GDP) process is a proprietary technology developed in-house. It seems to be a kind of hybrid between DLP resin 3D printing and Powder-based 3D printing. 

From what we can tell, they selectively squirt a binding gel onto a flat powder bed, which is then illuminated by UV light. The UV light solidifies the photo-curable gel, gradually creating a solid, 3D object. 

The most interesting part of this technology is the speed: apparently they claim a vertical build speed of 350mm per hour, or almost 6mm per minute! They don’t say in their specs, but we suspect at least part of their speed is due to rather thick layer sizes. Nevertheless, it’s a new process and is speedy. 

Stratasys has invested an unknown amount of money into the company, with their VP of Corporate Development & Ventures, Alon Elie stating: 

Stratasys is actively fostering innovation in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry. This includes, among other activities, investing in and collaborating with start-up companies, research centers and other partners developing promising and potentially disruptive technologies.

It’s slightly surprising that Stratasys would partially acquire another 3D company in a period when the investment community is looking down on 3D manufacturers for expanding too quickly. However, it may also mean that Stratasys truly believes there’s something important going on at Massivit 3D. 

The arrangement of the deal is not surprising, either, since a number of key Massivit 3D executives were recently employed at Stratasys or have previous relationships with the company. In fact, their CEO, Avner Israeli, was VP of Professional Services at Stratasys until just last September. Both companies also have headquarters in Israel, too. 

Stratasys is a company looking for additional uses of 3D printing, and Massivit 3D’s technology could be a way to open up new markets for economically-produced large-size objects, perhaps in the construction or marketing industries. It’s a good investment for Stratasys. 

Via Massivit 3D

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