3D Systems Corporation recently announced that it acquired Bits From Bytes Limited, a United Kingdom maker of affordable 3D printers and 3D printer kits that print real plastic parts from a variety of materials in multiple colors for educational, hobbyist, and professional applications.
Bits From Bytes manufactures and markets open-source kits and printers ranging in price from $1,300 to $3,900 based on the RepRap project that originated at the University of Bath. Bits From Bytes print materials include ABS and PLA in solid and translucent colors, polypropylene, and polyethylene. The BFB 3000 3D Printer can print parts from up to three different materials. According to the 2010 Wohlers Report, in its first full year of commercial activity, Bits From Bytes kits and printers accounted for 17% of all 3D printer unit sales worldwide, ranking second in total shipments.
"Powered by 3D Systems technology, marketplace presence, and financial flexibility, Bits From Bytes products can reach new audiences, address new applications, and open new channels and geographies that are begging for open source access and functionality," said Ian Adkins, managing director, Bits From Bytes Limited.
"With the acquisition of Bits From Bytes, 3D Systems takes the next major step towards democratizing access to 3D printing - a stated strategic direction and ongoing commitment," said Abe Reichental, president and CEO, 3D Systems.
3D Systems plans to retain the entire Bits From Bytes management team led by Ian Adkins, and to continue operations from the current Bristol facility. The company expects the Bits From Bytes acquisition to be accretive to its business results.