And buy more: 3D Systems buys Rapidform, Siemens buys Kineo,

Last week, I mused that acquisitions in the engineering software world are coming fast and furious — and, today, we need to add at least two more to the list.

On Monday, Siemens PLM announced that it has acquired the French company Kineo CAM, whose offerings are used to optimize robotic movements and plan the best path for the assembly and disassembly of parts.

Kineo CAM boasts an impressive customer list, including Audi, BMW, Fiat, Ford, Peugeot Citroen PSA, and Renault in automotive. In total, Siemens says Kineo CAM has over 200 customers in automotive, aerospace and shipbuilding.

Kineo CAM’s products are delivered as COTS applications and as software libraries to CAD/CAM software suppliers (including Siemens) and robotic systems suppliers. Siemens, in the press release about the acquisition said that Kineo CAM “will continue to partner with Siemens’ PLM product groups as well as other companies that have standardized on the technology.” Transaction details were not made public.

3D Systems today announced that it has acquired South Korean Rapidform to add 3D scan-to-CAD, reverse engineering, and inspection software to its portfolio and expand its reseller reach in Rapidform’s major markets of Japan and South Korea.

Rapidform is quite a catch — its automotive customers include Audi, Bentley, Ford, Hyundai, Rolls Royce, Toyota, Volkswagen and Alcoa, Hitachi, Panasonic,, Samsung and Sony use Rapidform in their industries — mostly in Asia right now, but with potential for serious expansion.

In announcing today’s purchase of Rapidform, 3D Systems CEO Abe Reichental says the company is now opening a fifth growth initiative, “to create a seamless digital design, scan, and print platform” to “democratize and deliver integrated 3D content-to-print solutions.”

DDD CEO Abe Reichental says the company plans to leverage Rapidform to create “a comprehensive suite of proprietary tools that allow customers to design, manufacture and inspect. We are building CAM-to-CAD, CAD-to-print, and print-to-validation integration. It will spur increased 3D printing throughout the entire design and manufacturing lifecycle.”

That’s true, but the cool thing about Rapidform (and Geomagic, Faro, Konica Minolta, and Creaform in 3D scanning for manufacturing) is that they transform laser scan data (point clouds) into NURBS surface models — and do it well enough to support workflows like part inspection and reverse engineering. Mr. Reichental told investors that Rapidform’s “reverse engineering and inspection software tools empower product developers to deliver improved product quality and shorter time-to-market. By combining scan data processing, mesh optimization, auto surfacing and CAD modeling in a single, integrated tool, Rapidform unlocks the power of 3D digitization for engineers and manufacturing professionals worldwide.”

3D Systems says it paid $35 million in cash for Rapidform, subject to final closing adjustments, and expects Rapidform to contribute $15 million to revenue in 2013. Given that revenue is growing very rapidly, means that DDD paid roughly a 3x revenue multiple — but Rapidform is profitable, and DDD expects it to add $0.06 to $0.09 to earnings per share to its 2013 non-GAAP results. A higher revenue multiple is expected for profitable companies, for those keeping track, and was likely adjusted upwards for the distribution channel and customer list.

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