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Engineering Materials

Slideshow: Proto Labs Buys 3D Printing Service Bureau

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naperlou
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great business decision
naperlou   5/13/2014 11:48:56 AM
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Ann, this is a great move by Proto Labs.  I have been following them for a while, and their injection molded small lot processes are very good.  It seems that they have decided that their opportunity is rapid prototyping and small lot parts.  3D printing is just another tool in their arsenal.  I expect that they will be able to offer good engineering and manufacturability advice for 3D as well as their current technologies.  This is definately a plus for customers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/13/2014 12:01:59 PM
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Thanks, Lou, well said. Proto Labs has been focused on rapid prototyping and small lot parts for quite awhile. I think this acquisition lets them retain business from existing customers that would otherwise go elsewhere, when 3D printing can be seen as an integral part--just another step--of what they're already doing.



Cadman-LT
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Re: great business decision
Cadman-LT   5/13/2014 3:36:00 PM
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It's just logical is it not? I mean have a proto printed and if it works out have the same company make the final design. I don't know why this isn't just the way it should be done. Makes sense to me.

Cadman-LT
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Re: great business decision
Cadman-LT   5/13/2014 3:39:36 PM
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Everyday you hear about this company or that company buying other ones. If I already had a CNC shop I would have just expanded my horizons and bought some 3D printers, hired a guy that knows them, and done. I wouldn't have bought a whole comapny for it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/13/2014 3:41:43 PM
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Cadman-LT, I agree. But that's easy to say as a user with a 50,000-foot perspective. Being inside a successful business, there are a host of things to think about before making a decision like this. In any case, there's a lot of acquisitions like this going on and I suspect we'll be seeing more.

Cadman-LT
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Re: great business decision
Cadman-LT   5/13/2014 3:44:24 PM
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I would think you already have the CAD guys doing 3D models and everything in place. You don't need to acquire a new company...you have what you need....just missing some printers and some guys to run them.

Cadman-LT
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Re: great business decision
Cadman-LT   5/13/2014 3:46:57 PM
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50,000 foot perspective? Never heard that one before. I can see from a big company doing this, but I could do it for a lot less.....lol

Cadman-LT
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Re: great business decision
Cadman-LT   5/13/2014 3:50:04 PM
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This doesn't really apply, but think about Google or Facebook....they have all the money in the world....they just buy every company that has an idea. No competition left.

Elizabeth M
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Re: great business decision
Elizabeth M   5/14/2014 6:28:48 AM
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It's interesting when consolidation begins in any industry; it's sort of a sign that the industry is evolving from early stages to maturation, I think. This seems like a good decision and reminds me of when technology companies began adding services to their portfolio to become more well-rounded. Indeed, less competition means less options for customers, so there is always a fear that people won't get top service because there's no one to pushing a company to strive for more. But I think it's too early to say this will happen here.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: great business decision
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2014 12:20:23 PM
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Cadman-LT as you point out, buying outside expertise requires a lot of cash. But even if you are Google or Facebook or 3D Systems, it also requires correct business strategy, correctly executed on several fronts.



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