Among the private equity-driven firms currently consolidating the 3D printing service bureau landscape is CORE Industrial Partners, which focuses on the North American market. In addition to forming the publicly traded FATHOM network, CORE has been rolling up other established service companies, made up of RE3DTECH, GoProto, Stanfordville Machine & Manufacturing and Phoenix Proto Technologies. Now, these businesses have been officially combined under a new branded business: UPTIVE.
While the new branding is might be a bit disrUPTIVE to our sense of language, at least we no longer have to refer to this business as RE3DTECH+GoProto. More meaningfully, the new entity gives us a better sense of what this consolidation has in store. Generally, UPTIVE is targeting its additive and traditional manufacturing services toward production-grade parts across the medical, electronics, consumer, automotive, aerospace and defense, automation, and industrial sectors.
The company website provides a comprehensive list of its locations and offerings, as displayed above. The site also acts as a means of educating and servicing customers with resources, a knowledge base library, and the ability to request a quote. Specific services offered by UPTIVE are broken down by location here:
RE3DTECH: AM, including printing with HP Multi Jet Fusion and Markforged composites machines.
GoProto: Plastic and metal part manufacturing solutions via AM, cast urethane, CNC machining, sheet metal, injection molding & tooling, along with part finishing.
Stanfordville Machine & Manufacturing: CNC machining of aluminum, steel, stainless steel, brass, copper and plastic parts
Phoenix Proto Technologies – Prototype through production via aluminum tooling and injection moldings services
Taking the reins of UPTIVE as CEO is Tom Kerscher, who became CEO of GoProto in January 2023. GoProto kicked off this roll-up by CORE in June 2022. Interestingly, Kerscher came from Dyncast International, which itself has received investments from American Industrial Partners (AIP). This latter company is a private equity firm that, like CORE, has begun consolidating AM service bureaus dedicated to higher-end, highly regulated markets, like defense and space. This is outside of its larger manufacturing service roll-up that includes Dyncast and its subsidiaries.
“The creation of UPTIVE reflects our expanded offerings and aligns with the ongoing execution of our growth strategy,” said Tom Kerscher, CEO of UPTIVE. “As the digital manufacturing landscape shifts to a more automated, auto-quote focused and virtual marketplace, our biggest strength remains our ability to offer human-driven quick response expertise, unmatched customer service, and high-quality components throughout every step of the manufacturing process.”
It’s interesting to note the parallels between CORE and AIP. Whereas CORE’s managing partner, John May, worked with such private equity companies as the Blackstone Group and HIG Capital, AIP General Partners Kim Marvin and Dino Cusumano hail from Goldman, Sachs & Co. It could be possible to parallel CORE with new school equity and leveraged buyouts and AIP with Goldman Sachs and legacy equity. However, we might not want to conflate their leadership with their leadership’s roots, as May, Marvin, and Cusumano have also had numerous other experiences between these finance giants and their current roles.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see the routes that they both take. CORE in particular has created a publicly traded digital manufacturing firm in FATHOM, a private company in UPTIVE, and, meanwhile, owns 3D printer and materials manufacturer 3DXTECH. All of the above feels like a very deliberate strategy. On the one hand, this approach could simply mean diversifying CORE’s portfolio in an evolving market, but it could also represent multiple pathways to influence the shape that that market is taking.
After all, CORE Managing Partner John May was a member of the Task Force on National Security and U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness, created by the Reagan Institute’s Center for Peace Through Strength national security think tank. The group put out what 3DPrint.com Macro Analyst Matt Kremenetsky called a “Republican New Deal,” a report making recommendations on how to improve U.S. manufacturing.
By building up CORE and its portfolio companies, then, May is able to further drive what may be his vision for manufacturing in the U.S. How that vision is realized will become clearer as companies like UPTIVE evolve.
Images courtesy of UPTIVE.