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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

3D Systems Acquires Rapidform

October 11th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

3D Systems continues on its 2012 acquisition quest that started in January of this year when it closed on Z Corp. (a 3D printer manufacturer) and Vidar Systems Corp. (medical and dental optical imaging). It has also acquired some other complementary companies and technologies along the way since then.

This week, 3D Systems announced that it has acquired Rapidform, a provider of 3D scan-to-CAD and nspection software tools, located in Seoul, South Korea for $35 million in cash. 3D Systems expects Rapidform to contribute $15 million of revenue.

For those of you who might not be familiar with it, Rapidform develops reverse engineering and inspection software. It combinines scan data processing, mesh optimization, surfacing, and CAD modeling in a single, integrated workflow.

In its press release, 3D Systems said, “With the addition of Rapidform, 3D Systems has secured the cornerstone of its fifth growth initiative: to create a seamless, digital scan, design and print platform for the benefit of its customers. This important growth initiative is consistent with the company’s overall drive to democratize and deliver integrated 3D content-to-print solutions. Rapidform broadens 3D Systems’ range of capabilities with complementary products and technology, and extends its coverage and breadth globally with a significant foothold in South Korea and Japan.”

According to 3D Systems, the acquisition of Rapidform is part of an ongoing growth initiative that includes integrating CAD, capture, inspection, and manufacturing tools by:

  • Accelerating 3D printer penetration
  • Expanding QP services globally
  • Growing healthcare presence
  • Building significant consumer presence.

3D Systems acquired the Rapidform product portfolio that includes:

  • Rapidform XOR — reverse engineering software that combines CAD and 3D scanning capabilites for creating parametric models that can be edited.
  • Rapidform XOV — inspection software.
  • Rapidform XOS — versatile scanning software for producing and processing point clouds.

What all this means is that 3D Systems now has the ability to cover capturing, processing, and printing 3D objects. That’s a pretty wide spectrum.

Like seemingly all sectors of engineering software, and increasingly hardware, market consolidation marches on. How this will impact current and future customers remains to be seen. However, don’t expect this to be the end of 3D Systems’ acquisition strategy.

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