Two of the biggest, global 3D printer manufacturers, Stratasys and 3D Systems, announced today new acquisitions in a sign of the continuing growth of the 3D printing market. Stratasys was first with its announcement that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the additive manufacturing materials business of Covestro, a leading supplier of premium polymers. The deal is expected to help Stratasys to further expand its materials offerings in stereolithography, DLP and powders. Meanwhile, shortly after 3D Systems announced that it will acquire dp polar GmbH in order to accelerate high volume additive manufacturing thanks to dp polar’s platform which enables continuous, high-speed 3D printing of components.
Despite summer tending to be a slower period as many take some well-deserved rest as a way to combat the heat, the 3D printing market has certainly not been slowing down. This latest news especially shows the continued strength of Stratasys despite concerns over a takeover only a few weeks ago. Furthermore, after a quieter year last year marked with selling rather than buying, 3D Systems is showing that it is still in acquisition mode after it reentered the FDM 3D printing market through its acquisition of Titan Robotics and Kumovis.
Stratasys Acquires Covestro’s AM Material Business
This is not the first time that Stratasys and Covestro have been linked together. In fact, Covestro’s 3D printing materials have been part of Stratasys’ 3rd party ecosystem (materials from outside the company that are compatible with their machines) for a number of years. Indeed, Covestro has been a mainstay in AM for quite some time thanks to its innovative material solutions, especially those focused on sustainability and a circular economy. Through the acquisition, users of Stratasys’ Origin P3™, Neo® stereolithography, and H350™ printers in particular are expected to benefit as they will gain access to expanded materials for use in stereolithography, DLP, and powders.
According to the press release, Stratasys will acquire R&D facilities and activities, global development and sales teams across Europe, the U.S. and China, a portfolio of about 60 AM materials and an extensive IP portfolio with hundreds and of patents and patents pending. Considering that material R&D is one of the biggest pushes currently in AM, this move should allow them not just to expand their offerings for customers as well as also gain access to the research done by Covestro for 3D printing materials up until this point. As such the acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive, or increase the earnings per share of the acquirer. The purchase price for Covestro is approximately €43 million plus additional inventory, less certain liabilities. There is a potential earnout of up to €37 million.
Commenting on the decision, Stratasys CEO Dr. Yoav Zeif stated, “Innovative materials are the fuel of additive manufacturing and translate directly into the ability to create new use cases for 3D printing, particularly in the production of end-use parts like dental aligners and automotive components. The acquisition of Covestro’s highly regarded Additive Manufacturing business positions us to further grow adoption of our newest technologies. We will now have the ability to accelerate cutting-edge developments in 3D printing materials, and advance our strategy of providing the best and most complete polymer 3D printing portfolio in the industry.”
3D Systems Aims to Accelerate High Volume AM Through dp polar Acquisition
Meanwhile, 3D Systems has announced that it has acquired dp polar GmbH, a German designer and manufacturer of what 3D Systems notes is the industry’s “first additive manufacturing system designed for true high-speed mass production of customized components.” Their unique system allows for continuous printing thanks to a segments, rotating print platform thanks to a patented polar coordinate control which keeps a print head stationary above a rotating platform. Stratasys hopes that the system can be leveraged with its own polymers materials portfolio and Oqton’s software technology to bring high-speed mass production AM to a number of critical industries.
Dr. Jeffrey Graves, president and CEO of 3D Systems concluded, “This acquisition is the next step in executing on our investment strategy to provide our customers with an industry-leading additive manufacturing solutions portfolio to address their critical applications challenges. dp polar has designed a very unique system that provides true high-volume production. The ability to print a broad range of materials, alongside the printer’s modular design that enables multiple processes in one high-speed platform not only increases productivity by orders of magnitude but also reduces the total cost of ownership.” The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. You can find out more about the two acquisitions in the press release from Stratasys HERE and from 3D Systems HERE.