Additive manufacturing specialist 3D Systems agreed to acquire Additive Works, a software developer focused on simulation-based optimization and automation of AM print preparation and workflow. 3D Systems noted that additive-manufacturing software that can be widely adopted by “generalists in manufacturing” is “a pacing item for AM growth”.
In addition to 3D printing technology and materials, 3D Systems already offers a host of software capabilities, including for product design and engineering, AM process control, inspection, and management. 3D Systems introduced its AM programming software 3DXpert five years ago, to manage additive-manufacturing workflows, from part design to post-process finishing. Subsequent releases of 3DXpert have refined the process steps to optimize workflows and include more printing technologies and materials.
Additive Works offers a user-friendly interface so manufacturers can quickly determine an optimal print set-up for effective thermal management and distortion compensation. 3D Systems added that the automated simulation software interfaces seamlessly with CAD systems as well as 3DXpert, and other print platforms, to reduce set-up time and improve product yield, throughput, and component performance. “The result is a faster, more reliable manufacturing process, reduced part cost, and improved component performance,” according to 3D Systems.
The cost and other terms of the purchase, which awaits regulatory approval, were not reported.
The purchase was announced together with 3D Systems’ acquisition of Allevi Inc., a Philadelphia developer of bioprinting technologies, meaning 3D bioprinters, biomaterials (i.e., “bioinks”), and specialized laboratory software.
Allevi signals 3D Systems’ intent to expand the “regenerative medicine initiative” it outlined earlier this year, when it announced a partnership with United Therapeutics and presented the goal of 3D-printing solid human organs (e.g., lungs.)
3D Systems added that its progress in regenerative medicine applications may mean further opportunities to meet near-term demand for bioprinting in medical and pharmaceutical R&D labs, which use 3D bioprinting to create 3D cellular structures that imitate natural tissues, bones, and blood vessels.
It said both acquisitions are representative of its nine-month-old initiative “to reorganize, restructure, divest non-core assets, and invest for accelerated growth...”.