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3D Systems is Getting Out of the CAM Business > ENGINEERING.com


3D Systems is Getting Out of the CAM Business
Chris Fox posted on December 04, 2020 |

3D printing company unloads Cimatron for $65 million.

3D Systems Corporation, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, reports that it has agreed to sell Cimatron Ltd., and its related subsidiaries, which operate the Cimatron® integrated CAD/CAM software and GibbsCAM® CNC programming software businesses, to Battery Ventures, Boston, Massachusetts, a technology-focused investment firm, for a purchase price of $65 million. (Image courtesy of ImgFlip.)

3D Systems Corporation reports that it has agreed to sell Cimatron Ltd., and its related subsidiaries, to Battery Ventures for $65 million. (Image courtesy of ImgFlip.)

3D Systems has long been known for its place in the additive manufacturing marketplace and for being the popularizer of stereolithography 3D printing, but back in 2015 the company entered a world more tied to subtractive manufacturing with its purchase of Cimatron.

Cimatron had been a provider of integrated CAD/CAM solutions since 1982, but the company expanded its arsenal of technology by merging with the developer of GibbsCAM in 2008. This merger brought together CimatronE and GibbsCAM to provide a more thorough portfolio for programming CNC machine tools and subtractive manufacturing.

3D Systems purchased Cimatron Ltd., which included the Cimatron and Gibbs System properties, in 2015 for approximately $97 million. Cimatron provided 3D Systems with a place in the larger manufacturing world, and it was among a series of acquisitions outside the company’s core interest (additive manufacturing), which included forays into the worlds of handheld scanning technology and subtractive manufacturing, among others.

Now, it would appear that 3D Systems is working to move away from the subtractive manufacturing world and is trying refocus on its baseline market as it announces the sale of its Cimatron and GibbsCAM businesses

“Over the last several months, we’ve made significant progress in aligning our business to our core strengths to achieve growth,” said Jeffrey Graves, president and chief executive officer of 3D Systems, in a press release. “With this announcement, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to focus on additive manufacturing, creating value through solutions designed to address our customers’ unique application needs.”

Cimatron Ltd. and its related subsidiaries will be sold to Battery Ventures, a tech investment firm, for a purchase price of $65 million. Putting aside resources that were invested into Cimatron over the last five years, that means 3D Systems is selling the business at a significant loss.

Battery Ventures’ manufacturing portfolio is more robust than 3D Systems’ was at the time of its original purchase, and already includes a CAD/CAM provider in SigmaTEK Systems.

The 3D Systems press release marks this sale as part of the company’s announced reorganization and restructuring plan from back in August of 2020. That announcement mentioned a new strategic focus to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing solutions, which clarifies the company’s exit from the CAM and subtractive manufacturing worlds.

Graves said in that announcement, “we will focus on markets and applications where a premium is placed upon performance and reliability; with engineering/technology cultures that seek product innovation as a means of delivering value to their customers; and with processes that tend to be highly controlled… To accelerate value creation for our customers, we are simplifying and focusing our organization by realigning the company’s breadth of capabilities into two key market verticals — Healthcare and Industrials. Each of these teams will drive application specific solutions within these market verticals.”

Part of the refocusing process for 3D Systems appears to be focusing on its most profitable niche markets and selling off elements that drift too far from those focused spaces.

3D Systems’ restructuring and its sale of Cimatron Ltd. are some of the first major moves being made by Graves, who was appointed to his position by the company’s board of directors in May 2020.

Completion of the transaction is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2020. 



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