Burlington-based Desktop Metal has received $160 million through a recent investment round led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT). The significant funding will enable the company to advance the commercialization of its metal 3D printing products around the globe.
Not only is the funding round in itself an achievement for Desktop Metal, but it also brings the company’s total investments (starting in 2015) to $438 million—the largest total funding of any private 3D printing company ever. Over the years, Desktop Metal has brought on investments from such companies as Google Ventures, BMW, Lowe’s and Ford.
The $160 million was recently invested by KDT, a subsidiary of Koch Industries whose aim is to fund innovative and emerging technologies. Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held companies in the U.S. has reportedly invested over $17 billion into tech companies over the last six years. The funding given to Desktop Metal shows the true disruptive potential of the company’s technology as well as metal additive manufacturing on the whole.
“Desktop Metal’s 3D printing solutions can redefine prototyping and mass production of metal products, which has profound disruptive implications for manufacturers like Koch Industries,” said Chase Koch, President of KDT. “We are very bullish about the prospects of Desktop Metal, not just as an investor, but also as a customer and partner.”
Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder of Desktop Metal, added: “We are at a critical juncture in the advancement of metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing. We are excited about Koch being an investor, customer and capability provider in this round. This new funding will fuel the continued development of our metal 3D printing technology and rich product roadmap, the scaling of operations to meet a growing demand of orders, and the financing of major new research and development initiatives. Combined, this will set us on a trajectory to become a global leader in metal 3D printing, a key pillar of Industry 4.0.”
Desktop Metal’s impact within the AM industry is understandable, as the company developed the world’s first metal 3D printing system for the office (the Studio System) as well as the fastest metal printing system for mass production (the Production System). The latter is over 100 times faster than laser powder bed fusion systems and boasts 400 percent greater productivity than binder jetting platforms. The technology is also built to utilize cheaper metal powders than PBF processes, lowering production costs significantly.
The Studio System, for its part, has already gone to market and has been delivered to a range of high profile customers, including Ford, Stanley Black and Decker, Goodyear, 3M, Google’s ATAP, BMW, ProtoLabs, Owens Corning, L3, TerraPower, Medtronic, Continental AG, Applied Materials, TECT Aerospace, US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, MITRE, MIT, University of Texas, Texas A&M and Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School—the first high school in the U.S. to install a metal AM system.
As always, we are eager to see what the prolific metal AM company will get up to in the coming year.