While polymer 3D printing has its place in the production of end parts, metal may be where the real value lies for disrupting the manufacturing industry.
Unfortunately, the technology still has numerous hurdles to overcome before widespread adoption can take place, such as repeatability, quality and, most importantly, cost.
These factors are exaggerated even more when it comes to the idea of shrinking metal 3D printing technology down to desktop size, the way that polymer 3D printers have over the past few years. However, that’s exactly what a startup called Desktop Metal aims to do; and this startup has received $52 million in funding to do so. Most recently, Desktop Metal has added GE Ventures and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures to its list of investors.
The exact nature of Desktop Metal’s technology is not known, with Cofounder and CEO Ric Fulop describing the technology only vaguely in an interview with Xconomy.com: “We’re trying to make a machine that you can buy, plug it in and use it in your office.” Fulop, who has been successful as an investor and entrepreneur, added that Desktop Metal is “developing a system that’s very fast and more accessible.”
What we do know about the startup is that Desktop Metal’s leadership team is also made up of the Chairman of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at MIT, Chris Schuh, as well as MIT Material Science professor Yet Ming Chiang, and Jonah Myerberg, who has previously held important positions at companies like Renovo Motors, Gradiant Corporation and Fulop’s A123Systems. Other team members include MIT scientists and a number of engineers.
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