Desktop Metal Entering Market for Volume Production Polymer Additive Manufacturing with Acquisition of EnvisionTEC

By Marianne D’Aquila

Category:
Acquisition or Partnership

Desktop Metal, Inc., a supplier of mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing solutions, announced polymer Additive Manufacturingthe signing of a definitive agreement to acquire EnvisionTEC, a global provider of volume production photopolymer 3D printing solutions for end-use parts, for total consideration of $300 million, consisting of a combination of cash and newly issued Desktop Metal stock.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Following completion of the acquisition, EnvisionTEC will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Desktop Metal.

Acquiring a Category Leader with a History of Innovation

As the original inventor of digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing technology, EnvisionTEC has one of the strongest intellectual property portfolios in the area-wide photopolymer 3D printing market, counting over 140 issued and pending patents, which Desktop Metal believes includes blocking intellectual property.

Expanding a Unified Product Portfolio Across Metals, Composites, and Polymers

EnvisionTEC brings a compelling product portfolio for producing photopolymers under Desktop Metal’s umbrella, including the new Envision One and Xtreme 8K printing platforms designed for cost-effective volume production.  The Xtreme 8K platform, which is expected to begin commercial shipments in the first quarter of 2021, features the largest build area among production-grade DLP printers.  The Xtreme 8K leverages patented projection array technology and is capable of delivering build speeds up to 100 times those of legacy thermoplastic 3D printers (1) and at a fraction of the hardware price of comparable solutions.  The Envision One platform, which includes models for dental, medical, and industrial segments and for high temperature resins, leverages patented continuous digital light manufacturing (cDLM) and domeless basement technologies to deliver high-speed, end-use parts production with exceptional accuracy.

EnvisionTEC is also a pioneer in digital biofabrication additive manufacturing with its Bioplotter platform, which supports the production of biocompatible parts for medical applications, such as bone regeneration, cartilage regeneration, soft tissue fabrication, drug release, and organ printing.

Scaling Distribution and Access to New Verticals Through Complementary Channels

The acquisition more than doubles Desktop Metal’s global distribution network and increases its geographic sales capabilities to 68 countries around the world.  EnvisionTEC adds a set of vertically-focused partners in the dental and jewelry markets, which Desktop Metal plans to leverage to sell its metal additive manufacturing solutions.  In addition, Desktop Metal’s horizontally-focused channel partners will provide an outlet for distributing EnvisionTEC products and scaling its sales, particularly in industrial, education, and R&D segments.

Leveraging Desktop Metal Technology to Advance Digital Casting Solutions

Through this acquisition, Desktop Metal will gain digital casting capabilities via EnvisionTEC’s industrial-scale robotic additive manufacturing (RAM) product platform.  EnvisionTEC’s RAM systems, which are available for as little as one-fourth of the price of slower legacy alternatives, use patented technology to produce mold cores and investment casting patterns for foundry applications using either Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) or silica sand.  Desktop Metal plans to significantly advance the performance of this platform with the proprietary and patent-pending Single Pass Jetting technology originally developed for its Production System to drive productivity enhancements and improve part economics across builds as large as 1.8 x 0.9 x. 0.9 meters.

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