Autodesk is opening a $100 million 3D printing fund, called Spark Investment Fund, to give money to startups and designers in the 3D printing space.
The company is now encouraging those interested in developing hardware, software, materials, marketplaces and maker spaces to apply to participate in the Spark Investment Fund’s investment portfolio.
Autodesk announced its Ember open source 3D printer and the Spark platform back in May. The platform is not on the market just yet, but it can work with many different types of 3D printers and materials to create specially designed objects. The design software firm is hoping those in the 3D printing community can help collaborate and improve the platform and its associated Ember 3D printer and materials.
Autodesk is looking for some of the best up-and-coming 3D printing companies to invest in. Those who receive investment from the Spark fund will become part of Autodesk’s Spark partner program and will have access to marketing and other developer services available to Spark partners. Current partners include 3D Hubs, Authentise, Dremel, Local Motors and MatterFab.
“Numerous industries recognize the value of tapping into entrepreneurs or startups with better ideas and approaches, and 3D printing is no exception,” says Samir Hanna, Autodesk’s VP of consumer products and 3D printing.