Polar3D, the makers of a very unusual desktop 3D printer, just announced they’ve received USD$2M in investment.
The company has been around for a couple of years now and offers a very unusual desktop 3D printer that doesn’t use either the standard cartesian X/Y/Z or delta-robot style motion system. Instead they use a “polar” style in which the build table revolves during 3D printing.
You can watch our exclusive video of the machine to see how this works:
Now the company has announced a huge USD$2M investment round, having previously raised USD$1.5M. They say they’re hoping to do a “Series A” round next year for USD$6.5M, but that’s a long way off and depends on the interests of venture capital firms.
Meanwhile, the USD$2M should be put to very good use.
Polar3D has smartly focused on a vertical market, in their case education, while some other manufacturers continue to market towards hobbyists and consumers. Polar3D also announced they’ve hired a “Director of Education” to provide additional focus.
One of their strategies towards the Education market is the “Polar Cloud”, which is in fact not a weather system, but instead an online “club” for educators and students to share 3D models and knowledge, attempt “challenges” and much more.
I believe this is a good approach: providing a safe, non-confusing environment for schools and educators to undertake 3D printing projects. By having the service in the cloud, they are able to continually update the content and engage the participants to contribute.
There’s also mention of a future program called “Polar Ambassadors”. These will be designated individuals who “know stuff” about 3D printing and can help coordinate 3D printing activities in schools.
Again, I believe this is a wonderful method to enhance the education process, as the new (to many) 3D technology sometimes requires a “concierge” like role to help people get over the hump of understanding.
The other interesting aspect of the Polar3D deal is that it provides some validation that the education market is a profitable one, otherwise the investors may not have provided the funds.