Markforged, the creator of the integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform, The Digital Forge, has entered into a definitive agreement with Höganäs AB to acquire Digital Metal, the creator of a leading binder jetting solution known for precision and reliability – extending Markforged’s capabilities into high-throughput production of metal additive parts. This acquisition is Markforged’s second this year – after buying Teton Simulation Software back in April.
The acquisition of competing and complementary companies is a growing trend within the world of 3D printing. Back in November last year, Desktop Metal successfully completed its acquisition of ExOne – with a total transactional value of $561.3 million. The move is highly significant in many respects. One is the parallel with the Desktop Metal group’s evolution: both companies offered commercial metal filament deposition and were looking to move more heavily into the production metal binder jetting market. Desktop Metal had already begun to develop its own technology in house before acquiring ExOne to extend capabilities, while Markforged is now leveraging Digital Metal’s established, high-precision metal binder jetting process to enter this segment.
This move also further confirms that, after several years of anticipation, metal binder jetting is now ready to enter the commercial production space, with other interested parties, HP and GE Additive, ready to launch their own technologies.
Markforged’s decision to acquire Digital Metal furthers the company’s strategy to solve manufacturing challenges for industrial customers, at the point of need. With this new offering, manufacturers have the opportunity to produce high volumes of functional metal parts with minimal required setup. As we already know – traditional production often requires months to move from design to manufacturing, introduces third-party supplier risk, and offers poor unit economics when ramping up production, and when producing in lower volumes.
Markforged sees powder binder jetting as a highly scalable additive manufacturing technology for production-grade parts, using a variety of metal materials. Digital Metal’s solution is designed to provide high-precision, best-in-class, part quality, and reliability. Powder binder jetting complements the existing Digital Forge offering and will expand Markforged’s addressable market by solving new customer problems.
“With the Digital Metal acquisition, Markforged is advancing our vision for distributed manufacturing by enabling the reliable, high volume production of precise metal parts at the point of need. Infusing Digital Metal’s solution into The Digital Forge platform allows us to address new applications in the medical, automotive, luxury goods, and other industries,” said Shai Terem, President, and CEO of Markforged. “The Digital Metal team has created a robust, and scalable, solution that complements our existing technologies. I look forward to welcoming their talented people to Markforged.”
Digital Metal, founded in 2003, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Höganäs AB. Known for high productivity, excellent surface quality, and superior resolution – Digital Metal printers have been used to produce hundreds of thousands of parts, including parts for leaders in consumer products, academia, and the automotive industry. Markforged sees significant opportunities to further accelerate Digital Metal’s adoption through integrated software capabilities and a global go-to-market engine.
“Markforged’s easy-to-use platform, best-in-class software capabilities, and material expertise felt like a natural fit for the future of our technology,” said Christian Lönne, CEO of Digital Metal. “With Markforged’s experience and go-to-market scale, we are confident that we will be able to grow our technology together and help more manufacturers produce the high-volume metal parts they need to drive highly productive and cost-efficient operations.”
As part of the transaction, Markforged will pay Höganäs approximately $32 million in cash, approximately 4.1 million shares of Markforged common stock, and approximately $1.5 million in cash to settle certain intercompany balances (subject to certain adjustments). The acquisition of Digital Metal is expected to close during the third quarter of 2022 (subject to customary conditions).