3D Printing Service ProvidersAcquisitions & PartnershipsAM Industry

GKN acquires FORECAST 3D, expands AM production capabilities to include plastics

GKN Powder Metallurgy, the division of GKN where most of the group’s AM activities are concentrated, has acquired FORECAST 3D, a large California-based firm that provides production 3D printing services leveraging multiple HP MJF systems. As GKN acquires FORECAST 3D, it adds 25 years of experience in polymers to its advanced additive manufacturing production capabilities and market leadership ambitions in this high growth market.

HP is the common thread in this operation, as GKN is one of the first adopters (and HP partners) of HP’s metal jet technology, while FORECAST 3D has already installed several networked multijet fusion systems. The acquisition furthers GKN Powder Metallurgy’s ambition to achieve global market leadership in industrializing additive manufacturing. The combination creates a geographic and market expansion for GKN Powder Metallurgy’s conventional and additive manufacturing customers.

Metal & plastic AM

Founded in 1994, FORECAST 3D serves a diversified target audience in the North American west coast. Prior to the acquisition, GKN Powder Metallurgy’s primary market focus was in North America’s midwestern region, as well as Europe and China. By combining both businesses, GKN Powder Metallurgy now serves all markets with a full range of 3D printing production technology and an expanded global footprint.

“FORECAST 3D is a perfect fit,” said Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy. “They are everywhere we aren’t – geographies, markets, technologies and base materials. Combining our individual capabilities will present unparalleled advantages to our customer bases and enable us to cross-promote additive manufacturing in metal and plastic over more diversified markets. It is an important step on our journey to become No. 1 in this high growth market.”

GKN acquires FORECAST 3D
Inside the GKN Powder Metallurgy AM factory

FORECAST 3D leads the plastic 3D printing industry, with a fleet of industrial-grade HP Jet Fusion 3D printers. FORECAST 3D and HP Multi Jet Fusion technology both deliver industry-leading advantages in quality, speed and economics, complementing GKN Powder Metallurgy’s advancements in metal 3D printing for mass production.

“At FORECAST 3D, our roots run deep in the world of nimble, low volume polymer additive manufacturing. As we continue to branch out and focus on high volume additive production, what better partner to pair with than GKN; a company that produces over 13 million parts per day?” said Corey Weber, CEO and co-founder, FORECAST 3D. “GKN’s resources, production experience and footprint will be the perfect fuel for this new FORECAST 3D engine as we prime it for the new world of local, on-demand manufacturing.”

HP strategic partners join forces

Both GKN and FORECAST 3D have been pioneers in using HP’s metals and plastics platforms. As foundational partners in the HP Digital Manufacturing Network, this acquisition brings together two experienced parts producers to further accelerate the mass production of high-quality final parts for customers around the world.

“There is an enormous opportunity for growth in 3D printing and it is exciting to see GKN and FORECAST 3D come together to push the boundaries in both metals and plastics mass production,” said Christoph Schell, President, HP 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing. “Customers worldwide now have the confidence of two of the premier producers of 3D-printed parts at the ready to help accelerate digital manufacturing transformation and deliver innovative, high-quality applications.”

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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