The Rock Hill, SC-based, 3D Systems is acquiring Medical Modeling, a firm focused on utilizing 3D imaging and printing technologies to create anatomical models for surgical planning. The company also manufactures medical devices.

The buy gives 3D Systems an integrated 3D modeling-to-print capability for both metals and biocompatible plastics which means they now have the ability to produce FDA-approved devices.

Medical Modeling of Golden, CO, pioneered the use of medical imaging studies for diagnosis and clinical treatment with their lineup of surgical planning and clinical transfer tools. The company's product line includes VSP or Virtual Surgical Planning, and additive manufacturing of various implant devices.

The Medical Modeling line of products also includes offerings like ClearView and AccuDental, anatomical models for dental applications, engineering-based solutions for reconstructive surgical applications and instrumentation, planning and customized prosthetics.

Medical Modeling has used stereolithography since the mid-1990s, color jet 3D printing since the late 1990s and has recently begun using PolyJet processes. Medical Modeling also uses the electron beam melting systems produced by Arcam to make high-tech medical implants.

The move is a solid enhancement to the 3D Systems health-care-focused business, and that market accounted for some 20% of the company's revenue in 2013.

"We're thrilled to become part of 3D Systems. We already use most of 3D Systems' leading professional design-to-manufacturing tools," said Andy Christensen, President, Medical Modeling. "Working with surgeons around the world on tens of thousands of patient cases gives us a unique perspective on surgical planning opportunities that, together with the 3D Systems technology platform and resources, could accelerate our global growth and enhance overall patient outcomes."

Avi Reichental, 3D Systems President and CEO, announced the deal.

"The combination of our rapidly growing healthcare business with Medical Modeling's expanding range of products and services creates the largest 3D printing-based personalized surgery and patient specific medical device service capabilities available today," said Reichental. "By leveraging our collective expertise, technologies and channels under the capable leadership of Andy Christensen, we plan to deliver an expanding range of direct metal and plastic medical devices designed to address this rapidly expanding opportunity."

3D Systems has said in the past that they plan to pursue a growth strategy through acquisitions as 2014 rolls on, so consider this the first of more to come.