Desktop Metal this morning announced its intention to buy EnvisionTEC, a 3D printing company. EnvisionTEC was founded in Germany in 2002 and specializes in the manufacture of additives for photopolymer. This puts its technology in more direct competition with 3D printers, Liebling Carbon, than Desktop Metal’s existing portfolio.
The deal follows Desktop Metal’s push to go public in August last year as part of a growing trend in SPAC mergers. Previously, the company had no shortage of funds of its own, and after investing $ 430 million, it quickly rose to unicorn status. $ 300 million will be spent to purchase EnvisionTEC through a combination of cash and stocks.
Desktop Metal has great growth potential here. EnvisionTEC has the underlying technology with the ability to print 190+ materials and Desktop Metal has the resources to scale this technology beyond what the German company has been able to build to date.
It is clear that dental is a pretty big piece of that puzzle. It’s among the clearest and most immediate use cases for this type of mass-volume 3D printing – and in fact, the company already has around 1,000 customers in the dental field, including companies like Smile Direct Club. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has effectively tripled its Envision One dental deliveries from the previous year.
“It’s used for everything from restorations to same-day full arch implants,” Ric Fulop, CEO of Desktop Metal, told TechCrunch. “When you get a prosthesis, you typically have to wait three weeks for prosthetic implants. This is the first time you have a solution that can do this in the same day. And it’s affordable. “
Other existing customers include Ford and Hasbro, according to a press release released on the news. According to Fulop, the company will continue to operate as a separate division after the acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter.
“We will be able to use their channel,” says the executive. “We look forward to expanding that capability and leveraging our channel to give them more tools for a complete solution, from metals to composites to biomaterials and now photopolymer printing.”