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Development of Single Cloud-Based MES Software Keys Materialise Buying Option for Link3D

April 16, 2021

Materialise-Link3DMaterialise and Link3D announced a collaboration that leverages both companies’ software capabilities to develop a single cloud-based manufacturing execution system (MES) software program for additive manufacturing (AM). The collaboration is the key component in Materialise acquiring an option to buy Link3D (expected to be exercised by the end of 2021), a provider of AM workflow and company MES programs. 

The acquisition will extend Materialise’s ability to help companies gain control of their manufacturing floor as it scales its AM capability into volume production, according to company officials, who further note that it will allow Materialise to accelerate its roadmap to offer cloud-based access to its integrated software platform. Other expected benefits: broadening Materialise’s industrial customer base across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and offering Link3D customers a seamless connection to Materialise’s Magics 3D print suite. 

“We want to connect the printers with the rest of the production environment,” explained Bart Van der Schueren, Materialise chief technology officer and executive vice president, in a press conference announcing the news, after noting that, traditionally, AM machines have been ‘walled off’ and not sufficiently integrated into such environments. (Development of this software will) “allow users to run the most efficient, controlled process to effectively produce high volumes.”

He sees Link3D as an ideal fit in this effort, with its offerings of additive MES workflow software to help companies scale digital manufacturing operations across complex supply chains and IT environments.

“By teaming up with Materialise, we expect to be able to offer our combined user base access to a robust and comprehensive manufacturing suite of solutions, enabling them to take AM to the next level,” says Vishal Singh, Link3D co-founder and chief technology officer:

Offers Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise: “By joining forces with Link3D, we expect to be even better positioned to provide our customers with a solution to plan, manage and optimize their AM operations. This agreement exploits the synergy between the two companies and will help us to remove some of the complexity associated with scaling 3D printing as part of a connected, industrial manufacturing process.”

Vancraen’s thoughts are echoed by Bryan Crutchfield, Materialise vice president and general manager, who noted during the press conference that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the company to “accelerate its exploration and development of digital-transformation opportunities and evolution of Materialise’s software suite to Software as a Service (SaaS).”

“The option to buy Link3D, with its digital platform, allows for scaling across complex supply chains” explains Stefaan Motte, vice president of software for Materialise. “It will help with volume production in AM, and enable meaningful applications of AM at scale.”

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Materialise and Link3D will be integrating toward a cloud-based SaaS platform, according to Motte, and share platform developments with customers along the way.

Industry-Related Terms: Run, Scale
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Materialise USA LLC, Link3D



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