3D Systems’ recent acquisition of Huntsman’s RenShape SLA materials helped increase the materials portfolio for the additive manufacturing company. The deal also included the purchase of the Araldite®Digitalis 3D additive fabrication machine.
I asked Cathy Lewis, VP of marketing at 3D Systems what were their plans for the acquisition. For the Digitalis machine, “Our intent is to fully explore and examine it and see how it might fit into our goals,” said Lewis.
The Araldite®Digitalis unit has not really undergone an official launch into the AM market. This polymeric additive fabrication system can manufacture large numbers of parts simultaneously at high speed. Based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), it is different from the light-reflecting MEMS technology used in many 3D printers.
It uses the MLS MicroLightSwitch®, an exposure process operating through a computer-controlled micromechanical shutter system that enables a large surface area of radiation-curable resin to be selectively exposed in one step. Whether 3D Systems will launch this machine into the market is something they are determining now.
Noted Lewis, “We sought the materials business, we believe that in picking up Digitalis, we have an opportunity, but we need to fully explore what that means to our business model. Our goal is to have something accretive to our current portfolio, which was why the materials were attractive, and to make sure we are meeting our customers’ requirements and bringing them added value at each step into the market.”
For Huntsman, this acquisition means they are exiting the Stereolithography materials market. They will continue to do adhesives and specialty materials for their industrial customers that are not delivered through a three-dimensional printer. For some of its materials, Huntsman will continue to use the RenShape name. For the moment, 3D Systems will continue to use the RenShape SLA name for the materials it obtained from Huntsman. And all current contacts and pricing for those users of RenShape SLA materials will be honored. As 3D Systems fits this latest acquisition into its portfolio, it will be looking to increase its customer base for these materials.
If you are attending Euromold, you will be able to see the Digitalis unit at the 3D Systems booth.