Xaar and Stratasys have set up a new company called Xaar 3D, with Xaar taking an 85% stake and Stratasys 15%, having the option to increase it to 30% in the future. Having invested heavily in 3D printing in recent years, the £100 million turnover group appointed Professor Neil Hopkinson , who is credited with the invention of High Speed Sintering, as director of 3D printing and invested more than £1m of its R&D budget in 3D the following year.
Xaar 3D will hold all of Xaar’s High Speed Sintering assets. It will be chaired by Xaar chief executive Doug Edwards, who said the joint investment reinforced the value created by Xaar’s R&D investments, and built upon the group’s plans to diversify its business. The value of the investment in the new company was not disclosed.
HSS involves printing an infra-red absorbing ink onto a polymer powder bed. After each layer is printed, infrared energy is absorbed by the ink, melting the powder particles underneath. According to Xaar, HSS can be from 10 to 100 times faster than laser sintering and it has a wide array of potential applications, from aerospace to dental and consumer goods.
Founded in 1989, Stratasys has dual headquarters in the US and Israel. The business merged with Objet in 2012 and went on to acquire Makerbot the following year. Stratasys had sales of more than $668 million (£506 million) last year.
Chief Innovation officer Scott Crump, who invented the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology said he had been impressed with Xaar’s achievements in the 3D printing realm. He described the assets of the two firms as “complementary” and said the new venture would “further address customers’ additive manufacturing requirements for a broader range of production applications”.
Xaar also has a partnership with BASF for 3D printing using photopolymer jetting. Xaar’s share price jumped by 12.38p, or 5.15%, to 252.88p on the news (52-week high: 509.05, low: 226p).