You may recall the announcement of Planetary Resources? They're the futuristic company that intends on developing technology to capture asteroids and refine them for their mineral wealth. The company is backed by several notable entrepreneurs and explorers, including X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis and filmmaker James Cameron. Now they've added another major investor: 3D Systems.
3D Systems says they've:
joined Planetary Resources’ core group of investors and will be a collaborative partner in assisting Planetary Resources to develop and manufacture components of its ARKYD Series of spacecraft using its advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing solutions.
To be clear, it's actually not 3D Systems that's doing the investing; instead they've formed a totally new company, 3D Systems Ventures, which will do the investing. This new leg of 3D Systems will invest in projects and organizations that will be powered by 3D Systems' technologies.
While many of 3D Systems Ventures investments will be for conventional industries, we suspect there will be few like Planetary Resources. This investment suggests 3D Systems will undertake development of true, space-based 3D printing, far beyond recent experiments. 3D Systems has a strategy to command as many 3D printing processes as possible; space-based 3D printing will surely present opportunities to develop several entirely new processes.
That and take us out into the solar system. Go!
Via 3D Systems