"The real benefit is adding scale, which allows for further investment in R&D and marketing and a continued investment in different opportunities. There's a tremendous amount of potential" in the 3D printer space, "but what you have is a bunch of companies that aren't that big," he said. "What the acquisition shows is the expansion of demand for 3D printing beyond the engineer putting two pieces of plastic together at their desk."
3D Systems, in particular, has been aggressively courting what Reichental calls the consumer 3D printer ecosystem. The many acquisitions meant to shore up this segment of its product line include the 3D printer manufacturers Bits From Bytes and BotMill, in addition to 3D content firms like Alibre, a provider of low-end CAD tools.
Both Kawola and Reichental also touted the significance of the expanded reseller channel, which would allow more than 300 dealers to sell both product lines.
Once this acquisition is comfortably under its belt -- it's expected to clear regulatory hurdles and close by the end of 2011 or early 2012 -- 3D Systems will hunker down and focus on turning all of its new assets into customer value.
"Over the past two years, we honed our acquisition integration performance and delivered significant growth and value" from the businesses it has acquired, Reichental said in a press release. "Given the importance of this acquisition, we decided to temporarily suspend the majority of our ongoing acquisition activities and focus exclusively on delivering the full benefit of the available customer and shareholder value."
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