Formlabs is shaping up to be something of a rare bright spot in a world of desktop 3D printers. While plenty of other devices have come and gone, failing to live up to the promise of consumer electronics’ Next Big Thing, the company’s pro-level technology has continued to pique the interest of hobbyists and prototypers alike.
A couple of months after picking up an online 3D printing marketplace, the MIT-birthed hardware startup has announced that it’s raised $35 million in Series B funding. The round, led by Foundry Group (no stranger to 3D printer funding), brings the company’s total investment number up to $55 million. Also on the list of investors is DFJ Growth, Pitango Venture Capital and Cagni Ventures — though Autodesk is probably the most noble name of all.
The 3D design software giant is using the investment as an opportunity to build a partnership with Formlabs, a deal that will develop collaborative software and marketing between the two companies — though specifics on what all of that will mean are still forthcoming.
Here’s Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, quoted in today’s announcement: “Formlabs has brought a lot of innovation and great execution to the desktop 3D printing market, and Autodesk is excited to invest in the company’s future. But even more importantly, we’re eager to work together to improve digital design and manufacturing for product designers everywhere.”
The latest round of funding also means that Foundry Group co-founder Brad Feld will be joining Formlabs’ board. “There has been an enormous void for a new market leader in 3D printing,” Feld told TechCrunch ahead of the announcement. “It’s evident Formlabs has emerged as the leader in desktop 3D printing.”