Yearly Roundup: A Look Back at the 3D Printing Industry in May 2023


Are you keen on delving further into the most significant 3D printing news of the year? Our comprehensive 3D Printing Industry Review of the Year series is readily available for you.

In May 2023, among the standout moments was 3D Printing Industry’s presence at RAPID + TCT 2023, the biggest AM tradeshow in North America spotlighting leading-edge technologies.

May also saw a surge in M&A activities involving Nano Dimension, Stratasys, Desktop Metal, and 3D Systems. Stratasys made public its plan to procure Desktop Metal for $1.8 billion. After Stratasys turned down Nano Dimension’s “best and final” offer of $20.05 per share, Nano Dimension announced in April 2023 its intentions to prepare a special tender offer for a minimum of 51% of Stratasys shares at $18 per share. This move from Nano Dimension came post the Stratasys-Desktop Metal merger news in May 2023. In addition to that, a few days later, 3D Systems proposed an unexpected bid to acquire Stratasys with a mix of cash and stock.

In other areas, the research, construction, and aerospace sectors once more proved to be the bright spots for the month.

Read on for more 3D printing news from May 2023 including Stratasys, Desktop Metal, Nano Dimension, 3D Systems, Nexa3D, Markforged, and more.

The lineup for the Additive Manufacturing industry panel on day 3 of RAPID + TCT 2023. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.

Stratasys-Desktop Metal deal made official; Nano Dimension’s critical

The M&A activities of Nano Dimension, Stratasys, Desktop Metal, and 3D Systems continued to dominate headlines, and events ramped up with 3D Systems announcing a $1.33 billion bid to buy Stratasys.

Private discussions began in 2021, when Stratasys and Desktop Metal declared their projected agreement worth $1.8 billion in May 2023. They also gave details about the merger. SEC documents state that in 2021, the initial strategy was shifted by Boston-based company who proposed to buy Stratasys, offering $60 per Stratasys share. Around that period, Stratasys shares were traded at $20.72 and rose to $51.72 in February 2021. Stratasys’s board dismissed the 2021 Desktop Metal proposal, arguing the undervalued price. Stratasys shares lowered back to the range of $20 – $26 until November 2021, nearly reaching $35.

In May 2023, Nano disclosed its newest bid for Stratasys, demanding a minimum of 51% of Stratasys shares at $18 per share. After a thorough review, Stratasys refused this offer because it was not in the best interest of Stratasys and its shareholders and did not meet the “Superior Proposal” conditions of the Desktop Metal Merger contract.

One frequent element that made this series of takeover activity stand out, not just in the 3D print industry, but in the corporate sector as well, was the joy with which the CEO of Nano Dimension publicly denigrated his opponents.

On top of sharing his M&A knowledge on YouTube, Yoav Stern, the CEO of Nano Dimension, criticized Stratasys-Desktop Metal merger in a conference call. He also mentioned discussions with Desktop Metal starting from November 2022. Stern tagged Desktop Metal’s pricing at $800 million as too high, referring to a 3% gross margin negative and alleging a loss in shareholder value of more than $2 billion.

Stern identified Desktop Metal as a “SPAC refugee,” and criticized the merger as an act of financial rescue. He challenged the legality of Desktop Metal’s rights plan, and advocated for its cancellation in a legal setting. He recommended that Stratasys shareholders not support the merger, pointing out Nano’s favorable all-cash offer and questioning the financial stability and strategic alignment of the Stratasys-Desktop Metal merger.

After declaring its plans with Stratasys, Desktop Metal established a limited duration shareholder rights plan, a customary protective move against hostile corporate takeovers. Similarily, Stratasys put into effect a poison pill plan in July 2022. This strategy was designed to shield Desktop Metal from hostile market activities and manipulative tactics, ensuring a fair premium for all stockholders. The expiration of the shareholder rights plan was to take place either at the conclusion of the Stratasys merger, presently planned for late 2023, or by July 2024.

RAPID + TCT 2023: A Platform for Introducing New Products

The month of May launched with RAPID + TCT 2023 taking place in Chicago, an event showcasing industry leaders presenting their latest advancements in 3D printing. With 350 exhibitors and 200 speakers, this trade fair provided a look into innovative technologies. Companies such as Nexa3D, DMG Mori, Markforged, Axtra3D, among others, introduced their unique product offerings.

Todd Grimm taking to the stage on day 3 of RAPID + TCT 2023. Photo by 3D Printing Industry

During this three-day event, Todd Grimm, the Founder and President of T. A. Grimm & Associates, took center stage to provide an overview of every enterprise attending the expo. The event featured key speakers who addressed significant concepts such as industrialization, sustainability, and reshoring, promoting legislative initiatives.

Kevin Czinger, the CEO of Czinger Motors, delivered a keynote address about the Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS) of Divergent Technologies, illustrating “authentic digital manufacturing” gaining momentum in auto and defense sectors. Czinger mentioned that this is verified by companies such as Aston Martin and Mercedes AMG. “These are cars we plan to build by the hundreds, escalating to tens of thousands by the year 2025-2026 using digital manufacturing,” Czinger stated.

Also, Omar Mireles, an R&D Engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center from NASA, gave a keynote speech stressing on AM applications in space, such as topology-optimized components on the International Space Station (ISS). Major market players like HP focused on automation with the Jet Fusion 3D Powder Handling Automation Solution to meet high-volume production requirements.

Omar Mireles taking to the stage. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.

Apart from the keynotes being the focus for the initial two days, a panel discussion was held on the final day including AM industry leaders SME Director and CEO Robert Willig, Wohlers Associates, SAE VP of Programs Chris Ciuca, and Impossible Objects CCO Jeff DeGrange. The panel titled “AM Industry Outlook” discussed the opportunities and challenges within the Additive industry.

Willig highlighted industry growth from $2 billion in 2012 to $18 billion in 2023. Wohlers highlighted diverse applications, particularly in aerospace, medicine, and automotive sectors. DeGrange stressed growth driven by applications, emphasizing the pivotal role of electrical applications. Other points on education, collaboration, and the increasing role of AI were also discussed.

Shaping the future of medicine with 3D printed pills

There was a notable breakthrough recently when researchers from Max Planck Institute for Informatics and University of California at Davis (UC Davis) came up with a procedure for 3D printing pills that allows for controlled drug release. The technique entails the creation of pills in specific shapes to govern their rate of dissolution in the body; thus, it can precisely meet the patient-specific needs for medication delivery.

With a reverse design strategy that brings computation models and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing together, the effectiveness of this approach was showcased by the scientists. This development points to great prospects in the arena of customized medicine, and its potential uses could extend to catalytic bodies and granular fertilizers as well.

3D printing is a gateway to environmentally-friendly construction

The real estate developer Kraus Gruppe recently shared its plans to build the largest 3D printed structure in Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, which was commissioned by Heidelberg IT Management. The IT server hotel, set to be constructed by PERI using a BOD2 3D printer from COBOD, is expected to be approximately 54m in length, 11m in width, and 9m in height.

Made of 100% recycled concrete, it aimed to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% compared to traditional buildings. The project showcased 3D printing’s design freedom and speed, with completion expected in July 2023. 

A look inside the 3D printing process of LizzieSat satellite

Earlier in May, 3D printer manufacturer Markforged revealed a work-in-progress 3D printed LizzieSat satellite, developed in partnership with aerospace company Sidus Space. The satellite, aimed at a maximum weight of 100 kg, utilized Markforged’s flame-retardant Onyx FRA material for metal-like strength, weight reduction, and faster production. 

Sidus Space’s previous 3D printed prototypes in space remained intact and functional for a year. LizzieSat, set to launch on SpaceX Transporter-9, focuses on real-time geospatial intelligence with 3D printed components for faster, cost-effective fabrication, and adaptability to diverse launch vehicles and sites.

2023: 3D Printing Industry review of trends and news.

2022: 3D Printing Industry review of trends and news.

Read all the 3D Printing Industry coverage from Formnext 2023.

What does the future of 3D printing for the next ten years hold?

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

Like it? Share with your friends!


Meet the mastermind behind GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
The Classic Internet Listicles
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Photo or GIF
GIF format