Desktop Metal has had no issues raising interest (or funding) in the manufacturing world. The metal 3D printing company announced today that it’s score another $65 million in backing, bringing its total to $277 million. This latest round was led by Ford, and also includes addition money from previous backer, Future Fund.
Ford’s interest in company that 3D prints metal is pretty clear, of course, and the automotive giant is taking things a step further by adding its Chief Technology Officer Ken Washington to Desktop Metal’s Board of Directors.
The tech isn’t quite ready to start printing out cars on Ford’s production line just yet, but the companies told CNBC that they’re working toward that seeming inevitability. Desktop Metal already produces a printer built specifically for factory production.
Slated for release in 2019, the company’s Production system is a push to make its technology scalable on the production line. The core of Desktop Metal’s tech binds powders into polymers and cook them in a furnace. The company claims its tech is 100-times faster and 20-times cheaper than existing 3D printing technologies.
Ford joins an already impressive roster of names that have invested in the startup, including Google Ventures (GV), GE Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Lowe’s. BMW iVentures, has also seen the potential in tech — the automotive giant’s VC wing invested in Desktop Metal this time last year, with an eye toward the future, stating that the company “is shaping the way cars will be imagined, designed and manufactured.”