Desktop Metal has already earned a number of fans with its 3D printed metal technology — Lowe’s, Caterpillar and BMW were all among its earliest clients. As first noted by CNBC, the Massachusetts-based startup is also getting some healthy monetary support, adding $115 million of venture funds to its coffers this week. The Series D features a number of high profile names, including New Enterprise Associates, GV (formerly Google Ventures), GE Ventures, Future Fund and Techtronic Industries, the holdings company that owns Hoover U.S. and Dirt Devil.
Speed has been of the main bottlenecks in mainstreaming 3D printing for manufacturing — metal or otherwise. Desktop Metal isn’t the first company to bring metal 3D printing to market, but it’s probably the most efficient. By its own measure, the company’s machines are able to print objects at up to 100-times the speed of their competitors, making it a more realistic possibility for smaller speciality parts, with its ability to print 500 cubic inches of metal per hour.
According to CEO Ric Fulop, that works out to millions of parts per year for a given machine. “You don’t need tooling,” he tells TechCrunch. “You can make short runs of production with basically no tooling costs. You can change your design and iterate very fast. And now you can make shapes you couldn’t make any other way, so now you can lightweight a part and work with alloys that are very, very hard, with very extreme properties.”