3dp_source3_logoSource3 will be a set of scalable licensing tools aimed at creators, brands, marketplaces, service bureaus and other 3D printing industry businesses. A group of Google and 3D Systems veterans are trying to do for 3D printable content what they previously did for music by creating a dedicated, large-scale licensing and distribution platform. The team behind the Source3 startup created the music licensing technology RightsFlow that was aquired by YouTube back in 2011 and enabled an entire generation of YouTube artists to develop and earn money off of their own content.

Source3 believes that the same concepts of putting attainable licensing terms in the hands of talented creators will allow more of them to participate in the rapidly expanding 3D printing economy. Today the company announced that they have secured a solid four million dollars in seed funding to help them develop their business. The list of initial investors is an impressive one, with several well-known investment firms signing on, including Contour Venture Partners, Western Technology Investments, Correlation Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and 645 Ventures.

“Source3 is developing the processes and technologies necessary to unlock the availability and monetization of 3D content in the 3D ecosystem. The team has collectively realized more than $1B worth of licensed intellectual property during their careers. They have the experience and insight to make Source3 a huge success. We are thrilled to be investing in Source3 and to be joined by our investment syndicate partners,” said Bob Greene, General Partner of Contour Venture Partners.

3dp_source3_spark_logoThe company also received investment funds from 3D printing and 3D design software giant Autodesk via their Spark Investment Fund. While primarily known as a software leader, Autodesk has been looking beyond 3D printing software as the best way to innovate 3D printing and is putting up their own money to companies that can expand what the technology and industry is capable of. Receiving seed finds from Autodesk not only brings needed money into the startup, but it is also an invaluable stamp of approval from one of the most innovative 3D printing software developers in the industry.

“The Spark Investment Fund advances 3D printing by uncovering innovative companies in all areas of the ecosystem. We’re excited to be part of Source3’s growth as their platform provides a unique and necessary approach to aggregating, licensing and distributing 3D content,” said Autodesk’s Vice President and General Manager of Consumer and 3D Printing, Samir Hanna.

With a strong mix of 3D printing industry veterans and a team that already proved that they could innovate the way music licensing was managed, Source3 sounds like a no-brainer for the investing companies. Scalable and customizable rights management software is an ideal fit for 3D content creators. By allowing designers to avoid an exorbitant one-time payout for access to branded IPs, smaller companies will be able to produce trademarked products and instead only need to pay a percentage of each product sold. This would allow thousands of talented designers and 3D artists to make money from design that for legal reasons they previously could only release for free if at all. The service is already being tested with Capcom, which since July is licensing 3D printable cover art for Street Fighter V directly through Amazon.

“New 3D capture and manufacturing technologies are rapidly reshaping the way content owners must approach the market. These profound changes represent both a huge opportunity as well as a growing threat to existing routes to market. I am excited to be working on the solution here at Source3,” explained CEO and co-­founder of Source3 Patrick Sullivan.

Source3 will use this newly acquired seed funding to expand their staff and speed up the development of the Source3 platform. The platform is expected to feature several components and licensing options, including content aggregation, licensing deals, distribution networks, education and vital community-building. You can find out more about Source3 and sign up to be among their first set of clients once the platform is up on running over on their website.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this funding news in the Source3 forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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