3D Systems, the global leader in additive manufacturing, announced the acquisition of dp polar GmbH, a high volume additive manufacturing company. The patented technology developed by the German company is the industry’s first additive manufacturing system designed for true high-speed mass production of customised components.
3D Systems will use its industry-leading polymer materials portfolio, as well as Oqton’s software technology, to bring true high-speed, mass production additive manufacturing to a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, foundries, consumer goods, and healthcare, through this acquisition.
High Volume Additive Manufacturing
A large-scale, segmented, rotating print platform that eliminates the start/stop operations of virtually all additive manufacturing platforms is central to dp polar’s patented continuous printing process. Traditional printers use a Cartesian coordinate system in which the print head moves from point to point sequentially throughout component production. The print heads remain stationary above the rotating platform with dp polar’s technology and patented polar coordinate control, allowing for a continuous print process.
This method not only speeds up component production but also reduces wear and vibration caused by traditional print head motion. The rotating platform can be mated with a variety of printing technologies and even pick-and-place robotic systems that can embed electronics or other features into the body of the component as it is printed using this modular approach.
“This acquisition is the next step in executing on our investment strategy to provide our customers with an industry-leading additive manufacturing solutions portfolio to address their critical applications challenges.”– Dr. Jeffrey Graves, president and CEO, 3D Systems
Dr. Jeffrey Graves continued, “dp polar has designed a very unique system that provides true high-volume production. The ability to print a broad range of materials, alongside the printer’s modular design that enables multiple processes in one high-speed platform not only increases productivity by orders of magnitude but also reduces the total cost of ownership. Particularly impressive is the level of machine intelligence embedded in the platform’s operating system, which enables continuous operation across the large, rotating print platform.”
He added, “This unique capability is central to the exceptional throughput, economics, and versatility of dp polar’s 3D printing system. By combining our renowned polymer materials portfolio with this first-to-market high-speed production technology, I believe we’ll affect a monumental shift in production workflows for high-value applications in industrial and healthcare markets.”
The dp polar printing process allows for the simultaneous application of different materials to precisely define the desired performance properties in components, such as elasticity, hardness, temperature resistance, or coloration. The high-speed additive manufacturing solution integrates pre-processing, production, and post-processing elements and integrates seamlessly with ERP systems. End-to-end traceability and quality assurance are thus enabled, which is critical for applications in highly regulated markets such as aerospace and healthcare.
“As the founder of dp polar GmbH, I am very excited about the unique opportunity to work with a leading provider of highly professional 3D printing systems. The synergy that results from the combination of our two companies is particularly valuable: the mass production solutions meet a range of industrially mature AM materials. With additive manufacturing, the industry is now getting the chance for real mass production for the first time.”– Hans Mathea, CEO, CTO and founder, dp polar GmbH
3D Systems expects this transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.
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