Stratasys and Objet, two 3D printing companies, have merged. The new company, Stratasys Ltd, will be based in Eden Prairie, Minn. and Rehovot, Israel, the hometowns of Stratasys and Objet, respectively. Stratasys will own 55% of the company and Objet the remainder.
The companies have long competed in the small but burgeoning 3D printing space, competing with both the “heavies” in the 3D world as well as upstarts like Makerbot. In January, 2011 we predicted the companies would release a sub-$5,000 printer.
Objet has long catered to manufacturers of smaller goods like Adidas while Stratsys works with companies with more technical needs like Honeywell and BMW.
Scott Crump, who is the CEO and chairman of Stratasys, will become chairman of the new company. Objet was planning an IPO until recently. This merger gives the Israeli company a presence in the United States and creates an entity worth $1.4 billion.
3D printing has long been in the realm of science fiction for most consumers but both companies are facing stiff competition from devices like RepRap and other open source rapid-prototyping systems. Although neither have launched a consumer-grade product yet, the merger does pave the way for more compact and simpler devices coming out of the merged company.