It’s less than two months before his company’s initial product launch, and Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop is excitedly showing off rows of stripped-down 3-D printers, several bulky microwave furnaces, and assorted small metal objects on a table for display. The startup’s ambitious products are 3-D printers that can fabricate metal parts cheaply and quickly enough to make the technology practical for widespread use in product design and manufacturing.
The company, Desktop Metal, has raised nearly $100 million from leading venture capital firms and the venture units of such companies as General Electric, BMW, and Alphabet. Still, despite all the money and expertise, there’s no guarantee the company will succeed in its goal of reinventing how we make metal parts—and thus transforming much of manufacturing.
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