Protolabs to acquire 3D Hubs

Protolabs, whch offers digital manufacturing services, is expanding its services by acquiring 3D Hubs, which has built up a network of 3D printing faciliites in a deal worth $280 million.

Protolabs added metal production manufacturing to its 3D printing services last year.

Protolabs can produce custom components in as fast as 1 day with automated 3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection molding processes.

3D Hubs, which was set up in 2013, has created an online platform that allows customers to describe parts that they want to have 3D-printed and to get back both instant pricing and feedback on their designs. The actual production is done by a network of some 240 manufacturers spread over 20 different countries, giving the platform a broad range of manufacturing capabilities at a variety of competitive pricing levels.

3D Hubs’ 2020 revenue is estimated to be $25 million and the company’s revenue has had a compound annual growth rate of over 200 percent since 2017. Protolabs will pay $130 million in cash and $150 million in Protolabs common stock. A further $50 million will be payable depending on performance-based targets over two years after close, split evenly in cash and Protolabs common stock. The deal is expected to close by the end of January, subject to customary closing conditions.

In addition, Protolabs has set up an employee incentive fund for 3D Hubs employees based on achievement of both financial performance and employee retention targets.

Rob Bodor, Protolabs’ current VP and GM of the Americas and incoming President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our combined organizations will provide the market an industry-leading digital manufacturing solution to serve their needs from idea to prototype to full end-use part production. Together we can fulfill nearly every custom manufacturing need across the product life cycle.”

This acquisition, together with last week’s story on Desktop Metal acquiring EnvisionTec, should be seen as part of a growing trend towards using 3D printing as a manufacturing process – not just as something that is theoretically possible, but already happening at scale. You can find further details from protolabs.com.


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