The second large scale deal publicized in just three months, Stratasys has set its sights on acquiring RP Support (RPS) to further expand their product offerings and capabilities. Similar to Origin (also recently acquired by Stratasys), RPS also creates Stereolithography (SLA) machines for their customers.
“RPS is a UK-based company, providing industrial 3D printing hardware, material and support solutions, driving industries to transform digital manufacturing and industrial production.” -RPS Website
RPS recently released the Neo series 3D printers, providing greater accessibility for new customers of SLA technology. In the past, Stratasys took a crack at designing an SLA system. The V650 Flex, although an incredible engineering feat for the company, proved unpopular and a difficult investment for newcomers of SLA technology. As the V650 is being phased out (for current users, the machines will be supported for the next several years), the Neo 3D printer range will be deployed in its place for new and existing SLA customers.
The printers produced by RPS have a fantastic reputation for durability and repeatability in quality of models. Formula 1 dubs the machines their number one work platform; just one of many testaments to the rigorous standards these machines meet and surpass. During their consideration of the acquisition, Stratasys put the Neo printers and other systems to the test, having RPS build models designed for failure on most additive machines. The reputation was solid, and Stratasys’ search to seek out any flaws came up empty.
Stratasys is also bringing something to the table with their vast network of reseller partners. RPS will have a chance to reach a much larger geography of potential customers. In addition, RPS systems will likely adopt the GrabCAD software, currently utilized by all Stratasys machines. The software provides valuable integration capabilities for facilities with more than one machine. The software also makes model manipulation easier and offers more data when analyzing models and material usage.
We can expect RPS machines to saturate the additive manufacturing market as soon as the systems become available for Stratasys resellers across the globe. Stratasys seems to be strengthening all of their product technologies, starting with SLA machinery. As they begin to grow larger, we can expect more and more additive business to become apart of the large Stratasys product umbrella.