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3D Systems makes two more acquisitions

By: Rhoda Miel

January 3, 2014

Prototype specialist 3D Systems Corp. has purchased Xerox Corp.'s solid ink engineering and development teams and a three-dimensional modeler of licensed entertainment toys, both as part of a series of buys by the company to bring multiple parts of the 3D printing industry under its roof.

Rock Hill, S.C.-based 3D paid $32.5 million for the engineering and development teams along with development laboratories and the relevant patent portfolio, according to a Jan. 2 news release. The move brings Xerox's specialized printer design and material science teams into 3D Systems.

More than 100 Xerox engineers and contractors will move to 3D Systems, while 3D will "immediately" begin to operate its own facility within Xerox's Wilsonville, Ore., campus. The company also expects to increase its annual research and development expenditures by 75 percent to 100 percent.

A day later, the company announced it acquired Gentle Giant Studios, which developed the technology to scan, model, develop and manufacture licensed 3-D printed characters from movies and other entertainment properties.

Gentle Giant brings with it a library of digital content and relationships with licensed products from global entertainment names such as Disney, Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Walking Dead.

The acquisitions come about a month after 3D Systems bought Village Plastics Co. of Norton, Ohio, a maker of plastic filaments used in prototyping.