Metal 3D prints a new startup, Desktop Metal, claiming US$65 million in financing under Ford’s lead investment, with the participation of the Future Fund in the current round. This round of financing from the US$115 million D round was only eight months, and it was exactly one year away from the US$40 million C round. At present, Desktop Metal has received a total of US$277 million in financing.
Founded in 2015, Desktop Metal in Massachusetts is dedicated to accelerating the transformation of traditional manufacturing through a point-to-point metal 3D printing solution. Although metal 3D printing has been applied in high-end industries such as Aerospace and Automotive, Desktop Metal has always wanted to achieve cost, speed, and quality optimization to drive technology adoption.
In April 2017, Desktop Metal introduced the Studio system, which will help engineers build prototypes for prints starting at $49,900, but if you purchase a complete set of printers, binders, and ovens, the price will increase to $120,000.
According to Desktop Metal, the system is already about 10 times cheaper than comparable laser systems. Due to the absence of lasers and powders, the Studio system has no special requirements for third-party devices or facilities – as long as there is electricity and the network can be safely used in any facility. The funds for this round of financing will also continue to be used in the application of metal 3D printing technology in non-highly specialized industries, which will in turn reduce the production costs and the turnover period of metal products companies.
To this end, the company is preparing to launch a scaled metal 3D printing system, which will be the first metal 3D printing system for mass production, priced at more than $400,000. However, this system can operate at 100 times faster than the laser system, while reducing production costs by 20 times.
The scaled metal 3D printing system is ideal for mass production of complex, high-efficiency metal parts. Because it does not require tools, it can cast better than traditional processes while achieving immediate production and large-scale customization.
This is easy to understand why Ford will be involved in the latest round of financing, because Ford itself is a company that relies heavily on metal manufacturing. Ford CTO Dr. Ken Washington will also join the Desktop Metal Board of Directors. Prior to round C financing, BMW also invested in Desktop Metal through its BMW iVentures.
Ric Fulop, co-founder and CEO of Desktop Metal, stated: “The era of metal 3D manufacturing has come. The strategic cooperation with Ford means that in the near future, we will achieve our vision of changing the design and mass production methods of metal parts.”