Design Engineering

GE expands 3D printing offerings with two new acquisitions

By The Associated Press   

Additive Manufacturing 3D printing acquisitions GE

GE will spend $1.4 billion to acquire Arcam and SLM Solutions Group.

WASHINGTON — General Electric is pushing its 3D printing capabilities even further with the acquisition of two European 3D printing companies. The industrial giant will spend $1.4 billion for Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group AB.

Additive Manufacturing GE

Photo courtesy of GE Aviation

At the same time, it’s upping its old-school manufacturing capabilities with technology that will allow it to quickly punch out components for the automotive, airline and health industries at the whim of any client.

The Fairfield, Conn. company said Tuesday that it expects the acquisition of Arcam and SLM Solutions Group to boost revenue within its 3D printing business to $1 billion by 2020.

“Additive manufacturing is a key part of GE’s evolution into a digital industrial company. We are creating a more productive world with our innovative world-class machines, materials and software. We are poised to not only benefit from this movement as a customer, but spearhead it as a leading supplier,” said Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE.


GE has shed most of its financial service business to focus on its high-tech industrial operations. It had, before the deal announced Tuesday, invested $1.5 billion in 3D manufacturing technologies since 2010.

Last February, in a letter to shareholders, GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt promised an earnings boost and payout to shareholders while detailing his vision of a more nimble, technology-based company. Once the most valuable company in the world, GE’s market value has declined by about $70 billion during the past decade.

Shares of General Electric Co., which are up more than 23 per cent this year, slipped about 1 per cent in midday trading.

Analyst Kenneth Wong at Citi noted that GE paid a premium of about 36 per cent for SLM Solutions and more than 53 per cent for Arcam and investors took note, boosting shares of other 3-D printing companies. 3D Systems shares jumped more than 6 per cent and Stratasys rose about 5 per cent in midday trading Tuesday.

In its 2016 report, Wohlers Associates, an independent 3D printing technology consulting firm, says the industry grew by $1 billion for the second year in a row, to more than $5 billion. The number of manufacturers selling industrial-grade 3D printers doubled from 2011 to 2015 and that about 278,000 desktop 3-D printers were sold worldwide last year, according to Wohlers.

GE said it will keep the headquarters of the two companies in place and retain management and employees.

Sweden’s Arcam AB focuses on customers in the aerospace and health care industries. Arcam generated $68 million in revenues in 2015 and has about 285 employees. SLM Solutions Group, based in Germany, has customers are in the aerospace, energy, health care, and automotive industries. SLM had $74 million in revenues last year and has 260 employees.

“Additive manufacturing fits GE’s business model to lead in technologies that leverage systems integration, material science, services and digital productivity,” said David Joyce, President & CEO of GE Aviation. “It will benefit from the GE Store and our core engineering capability.”


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