3D Systems helps product designers and engineers bring their concepts to life. The company's stereolithography apparatuses (SLAs) and other machines create 3-D prototypes of everything from toys to airplane parts. Its SLAs rapidly produce 3-D objects designed in CAD/CAM software in a process called solid imaging, which uses a laser to sculpt plastic resin materials into physical models. Its ThermoJet solid object printer also fabricates plastic models using a modified ink jet printing system. Additionally, 3D Systems sells the raw plastic and metal consumable material used in its machinery. Customers have included Boeing, MIT, General Motors, and Continental Tires.
The company does business in Europe, the US, and Asia. Its revenue is about evenly split between customers in the US and international clients.
Sales and Marketing
3D Systems primarily sells via a direct sales force, but it also uses distributors and resellers for select products and regions. The company targets manufacturers of automotive, aerospace, consumer, dental, electronics, defense, education, and medical products; independent prototyping service providers; and universities and government agencies performing research activities. International clients account for more than half of its business.
3D Systems has significantly stepped up its advertising budget. It spent about $15 million in 2015 compared to about $9 million in 2014 and $6 million in 2013. The company expanded its advertising to accommodate its expanded product line,
3D Systems reported $666 in revenue in 2015, a 2% increase from 2014. Services revenue from on-demand parts and from software services, which reflected the bigger portfolio as a result of the acquisition of Cimatron in 2015. Products revenue dropped on lower sales of 3D printers and an unfavorable foreign currency impact.
The company recorded a loss of $655 million in 2015 from an $11 million profit in 2014. A good chunk of the loss came from a 537 million write down of goodwill and other intangible assets related to the company's geographic reporting units.
Mergers and Acquisitions
3D Systems relies on a steady stream of acquisitions to supplement the development of its products and services and expand its customer base.
In 2015, 3D System acquired:
• Cimatron Ltd., a provider of integrated 3D CAD/CAM manufacturing software for $77,984 cash. Cimatron's software strengthens 3D Systems' position in 3D-printing-oriented advanced manufacturing by smoothing the digital workflow from design to traditional and additive manufacturing processes.
• botObjects, a 3D printer maker. Using botObjects technology 3D Systems released the CubePro C, a desktop full-color 3D printer. The deal adds a full-color with ultra thin-layer and high-speed technology the company's consumer and professional 3D printing portfolio.
• Nearly two-thirds of Wuxi Easyway Model Design and Manufacture Co. Ltd. of China, a manufacturing service bureau and distributor of 3D printing and scanning products in China.
• Assets of Texas-based STEAMtrax LLC, a 3D printing training provider, and assets of NOQUO INC., a software provider.
3D Systems acquired 10 businesses in 2014 for cash consideration of $345 million. Five expanded the company's on-demand parts services, two were enhancing healthcare offerings, two were for consumer and retail products and services, and one was for the materials business.