New Metal 3D Printing Technology Pays Off: Desktop Metal Receives $115 Million in Series D Funding

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In April of this year, Desktop Metal introduced its long-awaited Studio System and Production System, two metal 3D printing systems unlike anything the 3D printing industry had seen before. The products were released after several prominent companies had invested a great deal in the startup, believing that Desktop Metal was going to produce something magnificent. The young company, which began in October 2015, isn’t done raking in the funds, either – today, Desktop Metal announced that it has procured $115 million in Series D investments, bringing its total to $212 million in financing. The smart company is now valued at more than $1 billion.

The Series D investment is the largest individual private round for a metal additive manufacturing company, and includes investments from:

  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • GV (formerly Google Ventures)
  • Future Fund
  • Techtronic Industries (TTI)
  • Lowe’s
  • Lux Capital
  • Vertex Ventures
  • Moonrise Venture Partners
  • DCVC Opportunity
  • Tyche
  • Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers
  • Shenzhen Capital Group (SCGC)
  • Saudi Aramco

“This latest funding demonstrates how our strategic investors share in our mission of making metal 3D printing more accessible,” Desktop Metal told 3DPrint.com. “We are focused on shipping the Studio System to our first customers by the end of the summer, continued development of the Production System, as well as establishing a global presence in strategic international regions. The feedback we’ve received since launching our metal 3D printing systems has been extremely positive, and there has been tremendous excitement among our early customers to implement our technology.”

Desktop Metal’s Studio System seen at RAPID + TCT 2017 [Photo: Sarah Goehrke]

Clearly, a lot of people are excited about Desktop Metal, and co-founder and CEO Ric Fulop assures that the money will be put to good use, facilitating the company’s speed to market, expanding its sales programs, and boosting advanced R&D development. Desktop Metal is also looking into international expansion, perhaps as early as next year.

“We are on the brink of an exciting transformation in how metal parts will be designed, prototyped, and ultimately mass produced,” said Fulop. “This latest funding puts us in an ideal position to ship our Studio System in the coming months and our Production System in 2018, while also enabling us to grow our company globally. The continued support of our investors underscores the power of our metal 3D printing solutions to help engineers and manufacturers, for the first time, apply metal 3D printing for the entire product development lifecycle – from prototyping to cost effectively mass producing complex metal parts.”

Desktop Metal’s Studio System and Production System introduced two new technologies: Bound Metal Deposition and Single Pass Jetting, respectively. The Studio System is designed for the office, among the first metal 3D printers capable of operating in smaller environments, and is designed to be not only safer and easier (supports can be removed by hand!) but also at a price point 10 times less expensive than other metal 3D printing technologies. The Production System, meanwhile, is said to be 100 times faster than laser-based metal 3D printing systems, allowing for the fabrication of large metal parts without large turnaround times. The release of the system marks a turning point for additive manufacturing as a means of mass production.

“Our mission at GE Ventures is to invest in startups with cutting-edge technologies,” said Steve Taub, Senior Director of Advanced Manufacturing, GE Ventures. “Desktop Metal’s team and technology have delivered on exactly what they’ve promised: a vision to change the way parts are manufactured, with the innovative metal 3D printing technology to make that a reality. We see a huge potential for engineers to rethink the way parts and products are made both domestically and abroad.”

Copper will be one of the first materials to be available with Desktop Metal’s new systems.

Several of this round’s investors had invested in Desktop Metal previously, including NEA, Lowe’s, Saudi Aramco, and GV, and their additional funding demonstrates how pleased the companies are that their early confidence in Desktop Metal has paid off.

“We are blown away by the performance of the team and the technology at Desktop Metal, and that’s why we doubled down on our early investment in the company with our participation in this round,” said Dayna Grayson, Partner at NEA. “They have opened up a new frontier for 3D printing with the speed and quality they can attain, redefining the term ‘3D printing’ itself to mean much more than simply morphing a digital model into a physical model on a one-off basis. This could affect manufacturing and processes for decades to come.”

The Desktop Metal Production System will begin shipping early next year, while the Studio System is expected to begin shipping in September. Seven core materials will be available upon launch, including copper, several stainless steels, Invar, Kovar, Inconel and tool steel. Discuss in the Desktop Metal forum at 3DPB.com.

[Images: Desktop Metal]

 

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