It looks like Intel wants a piece of the 3D printing industry, as today it has been announced that they have invested into 3D model marketplace CGTrader.
CGTrader is a marketplace for 3D models, that can be used for computer graphics or 3D printing. They allow designers to share their 3D designs, as well as sell them. Also the website provides options for customers to hire designers for custom jobs. Founded in 2011 by 3D designer, and now CEO Marius Kalytis, it has quickly become one of the most popular places for buying and selling 3D designs.
“We started last year with around 1,000 users and 8,000 3D models,” explained Kalytis. “More than 30,000 professional 3D designers joined CGTrader over 2013 alone. [Our] digital library of 3D models grew more than five times – and reached 45,000 models in the end of 2013. And this is not going to stop, of course!”
It is not known how much capital has been raised in this round of funding, but joining Intel Capital, was also existing investor Practica Capital.
“We have been impressed by the team’s ability to efficiently attract 3D content to CGTrader and rapidly grow the community of talented 3D designers. 3D printing technology will redefine multiple industries, and CGTrader’s team uniquely understands the process of creating and distributing digital 3D content.” – says Petras Miciunas, partner at Practica Capital”
There are several large websites around the internet that allow for designers to sell 3D printed items of their designs, or even give them away for free. However, there really are not any popular sites that allow designers to sell their un-printed designs. Popular website, Thingiverse allows designers to post their designs for others to download free of charge, while another website, Shapeways allows designers to sell 3D printed versions of their designs.
CGTrader, however allows designers to sell or give away just the design, so that individuals that have 3D printers at home can print these out themselves.
“While there are a number of websites that offer free 3D model downloads for 3D printing, we believe that talented content creators need a platform where they could showcase and monetize their work and trade high-quality digital 3D content. As [the] 3D printing market expands, the demand for 3D models will grow enormously and CGTrader will be placed perfectly to provide 3D content and 3D modelling skills for the world’s needs,” said Marius Kalytis.
It is unknown if this will be the final round of investment, or if there will be future rounds. However, this does go to show that there is a strong interest in 3D design marketplaces, that will surely continue to grow along with the 3D printing industry.
Intel Capital is a division of Intel Corporation that invests across a broad spectrum of technology innovation. They encourage the technologies of tomorrow and focus on helping entrepreneurs scale from start-up to global corporations. In 2012 alone, they made 150 separate investments for a total of $352 million.
This will surely give CGTrader a huge jump-start in becoming the largest 3D model marketplace on the net.
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