Leading plastic additive manufacturing provider Forecast 3D has been acquired by GKN Powder Metallurgy, the largest producer of metal power and parts in the world.

The acquisition sees GKN Powder Metallurgy expand its already significant presence in the 3D printing space. While it has so far focused on metal 3D printing, its acquisition of Forecast 3D will enable it to expand into the plastic additive manufacturing space.

It will also enable GKN Power Metallurgy to expand its reach within additive manufacturing by accessing the client base of Forecast 3D. While GKN has a strong market focus on the North American Midwest, Europe and China, Forecast 3D has a strong client base in the North American west coast.

“Forecast 3D is a perfect fit,” said Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy.

“They are everywhere we aren’t – geographies, markets, technologies and base materials.

“Combining our individual capabilities will present unparalleled advantages to our customer bases and enable us to cross-promote additive manufacturing in metal and plastic over more diversified markets. It is an important step on our journey to become number one in this high-growth market.”

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GKN Power Metallurgy acquisition of Forecast 3D signifies strong future for 3D printing

The acquisition comes as the 3D printing industry sees significant market growth.

According to Deloitte, while global 3D printing revenues climbed 5.1% ­in 2016, they are expected to grow 12.6% in 2019 and 12.5% in 2020. The company projects the industry will be worth $3.1bn in 2020.

This climb in the additive manufacturing industry has seen traditional print leader HP enter the field, with both GKN and Forecast 3D becoming founding partners in the HP Digital Manufacturing Network.

“There is enormous opportunity for growth in 3D printing and it is exciting to see GKN and Forecast 3D come together to push the boundaries in both metals and plastics mass production,” said Christoph Schell, President, HP 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing.

“Customers worldwide now have the confidence of two of the premiere producers of 3D-printed parts at the ready to help accelerate digital manufacturing transformation and deliver innovative, high-quality applications.”

Read more: “Our goal is to build a very substantial business”: Why HP is finally investing in 3D printing