Metal 3D printing leader Desktop Metal, based out of Burlington, Massachusetts, first drew headlines back in 2015. The company was raking in millions of dollars in investments from some big-name companies, with nary a prototype to show off.
The funding from major investors continued to pour in, especially after Desktop Metal introduced its DM Studio System and DM Production System metal 3D printers to the world last year, drawing significant attention.
Desktop Metal is committed to making metal 3D printing technology accessible to engineers and manufacturers alike. Over the past year, the company has continued to see success, receiving two patents for its removable 3D printing support technology (and having filed more than 100 pending patent applications), increasing international sales of its metal 3D printing systems, and partnering with SOLIDWORKS for Live Parts, an experimental new generative design software that applies advanced simulation and morphogenetic principles to rapidly shape strong, lightweight parts.
Today the innovative company has announced a strategic partnership with Ford Motor Company, which also led Desktop Metal’s most recent round of new financing.
Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder of Desktop Metal, said, “The age of metal 3D manufacturing is here and this strategic partnership with Ford, along with our portfolio of investors, validates our vision to transform the way metal parts will be designed and mass produced. 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 mass producing complex, high performance metal parts in a cost-effective way.”
With participation from both Ford and current investor Future Fund, this latest investment round brought in $65 million for the company, which means that Desktop Metal has raised a grand total of $277 million in investments since it was founded, for the purposes of ramping up adoption of its end-to-end metal 3D printing systems and its rapid business growth.
The company’s metal 3D printers were the first to cover, from prototyping to mass production, the entire product lifecycle. The Production System is meant for the mass production of high resolution metal 3D printed parts at scale, using its proprietary Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology to 3D print parts 100 times faster than current laser-based 3D printers. On the other end of the spectrum, Desktop Metal’s Studio System is the first metal 3D printer for rapid prototyping meant for use in the office, and is ten times less expensive than similar technology offerings.
The announcement about Desktop Metal’s latest round of funding comes after the company has hit several major milestones, such as an expansion to more than 225 employees and almost 100 channel partners and resellers, with distribution in more than 40 countries.
In addition to its announcement about the latest round of financing, the company also announced that Ford’s Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering, Dr. Ken Washington, will join the Desktop Metal Board of Directors. Dr. Washington will, according to a news release, “play an important role in Desktop Metal’s mission to become a global leader in metal 3D printing.” Ford continues to bring additive manufacturing into its strategic focus, having also worked with technologies from Stratasys and Carbon, as 3D printing becomes ever more deeply entrenched in the automotive industry.
Fulop believes that the company’s strategic partnership with Ford will allow Desktop Metal to keep up the momentum in delivering scalable metal 3D printing solutions to companies around the world. Working with Ford will also help “fuel the company’s growth and R&D,” according to Fulop.
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