20 December 2001
20 December 2001
3D Systems and DSM Desotech Inc. have formed OptoForm LLC, a joint venture that will focus on the development and commercialization of new equipment and materials for rapid tooling and direct and indirect in-line manufacturing processes.
The materials will include ceramics, composite tooling materials and toughened plastics. This technology is expected to open up new markets aimed at producing more functional parts. Research and development activities are taking place in both 3D Systems' facility in Valencia and in DSM Desotech's Somos(R) facility in New Castle, Del.
The joint venture initially is placing three OptoForm Engineering Evaluation Units at customer locations to facilitate continued technical development of materials, hardware and software. The OptoForm units will be utilized for technical evaluation of tough plastics, ceramics and composite tooling materials for the automotive, aerospace and tooling industries. Full commercialization of this technology is expected during the last half of 2002 and the beginning of 2003. As the technology matures, both companies believe it will rival the importance of their present stereolithography-related businesses.
""With the acquisition of OptoForm SARL in January 2001, 3D Systems began the development of a product line known as DCM (direct composite manufacturing),"" said Grant Flaharty, executive vice president at 3D Systems. ""The agreement with DSM Desotech is expected to allow both companies to focus efforts on the development of solutions for the tooling and manufacturing industries. ""We believe we can make great strides with the OptoForm technology,"" Flaharty added. ""We expect that the joint venture will enable us to bring a fully commercialized OptoForm system to market more quickly.""
""We are very pleased to announce the agreement with 3D Systems,"" said Steve Hartig, vice president of marketing at DSM Desotech. ""By sharing our expertise, and with both companies' strong intellectual property position in this area, we will have a focused effort to meet the demands of the marketplace, and we can expect significant product development synergies to result."" This joint venture agreement is subject to government review and satisfying all filing requirements.
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