3D Systems is on a grappling spree of sorts, eating up 3D print related companies and leaving a new, quite cuby, 3-dimensional logo in their wake. Then, they started in on software companies, scooping up translation and conversion software developer Sycode. The latest, announced earlier this morning, is the news that 3D Systems has acquired Alibre, makers of the price-shifting 3D software, Alibre Design. Big news? Indubitably. Here’s another graphic of the 3D System logo placed next to the Alibre logo to make it all official and some details on how it all came about.

3D Systems Acquires Alibre

Here’s how it went down, more or less…

May 17th, 2011 – 3D Systems partnered with Alibre, bundling Alibre’s 3D software with the 3D Systems Rapman printer and BFB 3000 multicolor 3D printer.
June 2011 – Alibre sells the crap out of the 3D printers
July 4th 2011 – Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems, makes a visit to Alibre in Richardson, Texas, USA.
July 19th, 2011 – Alibre signs off on acquisition deal. Alibre now owned by 3D Systems.

No announcements have been made concerning changes to the Alibre software line – same options, same add-ons, same pricing. This does, no doubt, bring more funding for development to Alibre, helping them compete in the cut-throat 3D software market. What’s also interesting is how 3D Systems is targeting ‘3D content-to-print’ – they use it in all of their PR, rank for it well in the search engines and can’t tell you what 3D Systems is about without saying it. It makes sense though. They’ve got the printing down pat. Now, it’s time to bring in the 3D. It will indeed be interesting to see how they bring their print, web and 3D design acquisitions together as a service and a product, and to see what else they grapple hold of.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.