3D Systems’ New Board Members Signals Significant Strategy Change

3D Systems is about to shift gears

3D Systems has added two new individuals on their board of directors, and this has explained a lot to me. 

3D printing giant 3D Systems announced the addition of two new board members this week, and they are: Charles G. McClure Jr. and Jeffrey Wadsworth. McClure has years of experience in the automotive industry, while Wadsworth a scientist with “decades of experience in defense and technology industries”.

So what’s the big deal here? 

The Board of Directors of any company is vitally important to the company’s strategy, as the board members not only govern the internal operations of the firm, but also provide a strong platform for the company to reach out to other companies for strategic purposes. In a sense, the Board of Directors is the ultimate networking device for a company. 

As such, by examining the relationships of the members of a board one can surmise what’s going on, or at least hint at their intentions. 

Previously I wrote a piece suggesting that 3D Systems was focusing heavily on the medical market. And it’s largely true: the company has for a very long time provided huge 3D print services to the dental market. But more recently they’ve delved a lot deeper into medical areas, often far beyond just 3D printing.

Even today I received a broadcast email from them with the following topics: 

  • Combined Otolaryngology Meetings
  • Hands-On Laparoscopic Virtual or
  • d2p – From Dicom to Print
  • Medical Device Design & Manufacturing 
  • Sonography for Trauma
  • Medical and Dental Conferences
  • Nextdent at the Int’l Dental Show
  • New Simulation Validation
  • Vsp (Virtual Surgical Planning)
  • New for the Angio Mentor 
  • Laparoscopic Clinical Validation
  • Ultrasound Simulation for Ob/Gyn 
  • Vats Lobectomy at Aats in Booth 519
  • Lobectomy – Your Feedback

I’m not sure exactly what a Lobectomy is, but it sounds very medical. And not fun. But this is the point: this company has been strongly promoting all manner of medical applications related to 3D (not just 3D print). 

Why is this so? Let’s look at some of the members of their board of directors, according to the WSJ database:

  • Kevin S. Moore, 61, Independent Director: Bassett Healthcare Network
  • Karen E. Welke, 71, Independent Director: Advanced Medical Technology Association
  • Thomas W. Erickson, 65, Independent Director: American Renal Holdings, Inc

So of the ten folks on their board, three are directly associated with the medical industry. Six others appear to be 3D Systems execs of various sorts and there’s only one other, who has experience in the food industry. 

This explains their strong interest in the medical industry, doesn’t it?

But now they’ve added these two new members who are directly related to the automotive and military. 

What do you think will happen next? I think I do, and so do you. 

Via 3D Systems

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