3D Systems in aerospace race with dual acquisition

3D Systems is ramping up its presence in the aerospace industry after acquiring sister rapid prototyping companies American Precision Prototyping and American Precision Machining – both of which service the sector.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

US-based 3D printing company 3D Systems announced today that it had acquired sister rapid prototyping companies, American Precision Prototyping (APP) and American Precision Machining (APM).

The move sees 3D Systems expand its 3D printing — additive manufacturing — rapid prototyping services footprint in the aerospace industry, with both of the new acquisitions providing rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing services to that sector.

APP and APM are headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and for more than a decade they have created 3D-printed or machined custom parts and rapid prototype services for the likes of Boeing, NASA, GE, and Qualcomm.

Ziad Abou, vice president and general manager of 3D Systems' rapid prototyping business, Quickparts, said that APP and APM would enable the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed company to broaden its 3D printing services bureau in the United States.

"APP and APM bring a wealth of experience and bench strength in both advanced manufacturing and the aerospace industry that is highly complementary to our offerings," said Abou. "This acquisition further enhances our North American capabilities and expertise."

APP president Jason Dickman said that the Oklahoma-based business had long been a customer of 3D Systems' printers, materials and software prior to the acquisition, and that he was pleased to help broaden the company's reach.

"3D Systems is, bar none, the recognised leader in advanced manufacturing with an exceptional track record in providing the highest quality parts services globally," said Dickman. "We have been a long-standing customer of 3DS' SLA and SLS printers, materials and software, and we couldn't be more excited to join the team as it positions us to provide unparalleled parts services to our customers far into the future."

According to a report by ValueWalk, 3D Systems has been on an extended acquisition spree, clocking up around 45 purchases over four years, and totalling around US$520 million.

Earlier this month, the company acquired Laser Reproductions, a rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, and product development services company, and earlier this year, 3D Systems bought Medical Modeling, a provider of 3D printed imaging products and implants.

In May, the South Carolina-based 3D Systems raised around US$317 million in a secondary share offering, with a large amount of this sum expected to go towards future acquisitions.

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