Founder Andy Jeffery has two decades of experience working with additive manufacturing technologies, setting up Figulo in 2011 to build on his experience in understanding 3D printing materials and processes. The organisation produces intricate pieces such as tableware and drinking cups, customised tiles and bespoke designs by combining traditional ceramic manufacturing principals with the most cutting-edge additive manufacturing technology.
"3D printing with ceramics is extremely challenging," Jeffery told TCT Magazine in September. "It is a complex dance of materials, machines, design, computing, kilns, chemistry and marketing. The ability to get all this right and produce exciting, beautiful, functional and artistic ceramic objects is the reward."
3D Systems plans to integrate Figulo's 3D printing technology into its Cubify ecosystem and its professional cloud 3D printing service Quickparts, while taking advantage of the considerable expertise the deal will bring to the industry juggernaut in its plans for a range of end-user ceramic 3D printers for hobbyists, artists, potters and designers.
Jeffery said of the acquisition: "I couldn't think of a better home for Figulo than 3D Systems. This is a dream combination of 3D Systems' powerful CJP full-colour technology with Figulo's extensive ceramic materials and process know-how to accelerate online and at home adoption and to unleash the full potential of professional and consumer ceramic 3D printing."
3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental added: "Ceramic 3D printing creates a unique experience for this time-honoured art form and is sure to induce a new breed of artists, designers and major decor labels to incorporate 3D printing into their professional toolbox while consumers enjoy the next dimension of decor and art.
"With Figulo on board, we are enhancing both our Cubify and Quickparts capabilities and significantly expanding our materials and process expertise and know-how to fast track the commercialisation of ceramic 3D printers."