Jan 24, 2019 | By Thomas

Desktop Metal, a maker of 3D metal printing systems for commercial and industrial use, has raised $160 million in new funding led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), to advance the global commercialization of its metal 3D printing technology. Combined funding since its 2015 inception, now at $438 million, marks the largest total funding of any private 3D printing company to date.

KDT is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held companies in America with over $110 billion in annual revenues and an investor of more than $17 billion into technology companies in the last six years. KDT led the latest round, which also included participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), Panasonic, and Techtronic Industries.

Desktop Metal’s 3D printing solutions can redefine prototyping and mass production of metal products, which has profound disruptive implications for manufacturers like Koch Industries,” said Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies. “We are very bullish about the prospects of Desktop Metal, not just as an investor, but also as a customer and partner.”

Founded in 2015 by Ric Fulop, CEO, the Massachusetts startup Desktop Metal focused on 3D printing metal. Desktop Metal’s Studio System, marketed as “the first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping,” is reportedly 10 times cheaper than existing technologies (it starts at $49,900). The Studio System comprises a metal 3D printer and a microwave-enhanced sintering furnace.

Early customers of the Studio System include: Ford, Stanley Black and Decker, Goodyear, 3M, Google’s ATAP, BMW, ProtoLabs, Owens Corning, L3, TerraPower, Medtronic, Continental AG, Applied Materials, TECT Aerospace, US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, MITRE and leading educational institutions such as MIT, University of Texas, Texas A&M and Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, the nation’s first high school to install a metal 3D printer.

This fuel atomizer was created for John Zink Hamworthy Combustion, a Koch company, by Desktop Metal's 3D printing process. It is used in liquid natural gas transport to help propel ships.

The higher-end Production System, for its part, is touted as “the only 3D printing system for mass production of high resolution metal parts.” This system, based off of Desktop Metal’s patented Single Pass Jetting (SJP) technology, is said to be 100 times faster than existing laser-based metal 3D printers. These systems are designed to print a broad range of alloys, including reactive metals such as titanium and aluminum. The technology is being adopted by major Fortune 500 companies and initial systems will begin shipping commercially in Q1 2019.

“We are at a critical juncture in the advancement of metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing,” said Fulop. “This new funding will fuel the continued development of our metal 3D printing technology and rich product roadmap, the scaling of operations to meet a growing demand of orders, and the financing of major new research and development initiatives. Combined, this will set us on a trajectory to become a global leader in metal 3D printing, a key pillar of Industry 4.0.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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