General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) placed a $1.4 billion bet on the future of factory production by purchasing a pair of 3D-printer companies, marking one of the most significant endorsements of the technology yet.

The industrial giant offered to buy Sweden’s Arcam AB and Germany’s SLM Solutions Group AG in separate transactions, GE said in a statement. The acquisitions will bolster GE’s existing manufacturing operations and help the company build a $1 billion 3D-printing business by 2020, it said.

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