Materialise has acquired an option to buy Link3D, and its additive workflow and manufacturing execution systems (MES) technology, as it looks to enable volume production 3D printing workflows.
It is expected that the move will acelerate Materialise’s platform strategy to offer companies cloud-based access to its unified software platform.
While some companies had already started their digitisation journey before the pandemic hit, Materialise states that COVID-19 has accelerated the process and emphasised the benefits of pursuing digital transformation opportunities.
The 3D printing giant has outlined an ambitious roadmap to evolve its entire software suite to a SaaS model, offering its customers cloud-based access to a complete platform of software tools to manage and control the 3D printing process more efficiently, with a view to scale their operations based on their current needs.
The acquisition will allow Materialise additionally to grow its customer base across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and offer Link3D customers a seamless connection to Materialise’s Magics 3D print suite.
“By joining forces with Link3D, we expect to be even better positioned to provide our customers with a solution to plan, manage and optimize their AM operations,” said Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen/
“This agreement exploits the synergy between the two companies and will help us to remove some of the complexity associated with scaling 3D printing as part of a connected, industrial manufacturing process.”
As we’ve previously covered, Link3D offers additive MES workflow software to help companies scale digital manufacturing operations across complex supply chains and IT environments.
Its MES and workflow solutions help bolster overall adoption of AM for series production in major manufacturing industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical and energy.
“At Link3D, it has always been our mission to help companies unlock the full potential of AM into their existing supply chains,” said Link3D CEO Shane Fox.
Link3D Co-Founder and CTO Vishal Singh added that by teaming up with Materialise he expects to be able to offer their combined user base access to a “robust and comprehensive manufacturing suite of solutions, enabling them to take Additive Manufacturing to the next level”.
Materialise has recently announced several cloud-based software solutions, including Magics Storefont, a full e-commerce and CRM solution in one platform; and the Process Tuner, an online platform that helps speed the process tuning that is required for mass-manufacturing 3D printed parts.
“Materialise and Link3D share a commitment to support companies as they build cost-efficient and productive 3D printing factories,” said Materialise Software VP and GM Stefaan Motte.
“We expect that joining forces with Link3D’s talented team will help us to advance our roadmap to offer customers more flexible and reliable access to a cloud-based, unified software platform.”