BMW Invests in 3D Printing Startup
Desktop Metal Inc. says it raised $45 million in its third round of financing to bring total investment in the Burlington, Mass.-based 3D printing startup to $97 million.
The latest round of investments was led by BMW AG (through its i Ventures unit), GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Lowe’s Ventures. Earlier investors include GE Ventures and 3D printing leader Stratasys Inc.
Desktop Metal plans to use the new funding to further develop its 3D metal printing technology and scale production as the company prepares to launch output later this year. BMW hopes to eventually use 3D printing throughout its design and manufacturing operations, including some production parts.
Founded by CEO Ric Fulop in October 2015, Desktop Metal now has more than 75 engineers. Fulop was one of the co-founders of battery specialist A123 Systems and an early investor in several CAD and 3D printing companies, including SolidWorks.
Topology optimization cuts part development time and costs, material consumption, and product weight. And it works with additive, subtractive, and all other types of manufacturing processes, too.
Although 3D printing has become something that is hip an almost artisanal among the digital cognoscenti and within the maker movement, there is the set that contains 3D printing as a subset—additive manufacturing—which is something that is being pursued in earnest by a number of mass manufacturers in order to achieve parts and products the likes of which would be difficult if not completely impossible to produce with conventional methods.
If you look at the top of the cab of that Mack Anthem Class 8 truck you’ll note the way it arcs back to the trailer.