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3D Systems buys a piece of Xerox to expand 3D-printing empire

Brian Heater

We're mere weeks from 2014, and here's a sign of the times: A 3D-printing company has just picked up a piece of Xerox, a name that's still a bit hard for many to divorce from images of office printers and industrial copiers. Of course, 3D Systems isn't exactly a new kid on the block. The company may not possess the relative name recognition of a MakerBot, but it's been in the game for almost 30 years, founded by the inventor of the rapid prototyping technology that would give birth to the world of 3D printing. The $32.5 million acquisition announced this morning involves a chunk of Xerox's solid ink product design, engineering and chemistry team in Oregon with more than 100 or so employees joining 3D Systems. The team, labs and IP involved will likely have its biggest impact on 3D Systems' booming industrial wing, with the two companies having already collaborated on the Star Trekifying Projet line, which has become something of an industry standard for rapid prototyping.

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