For some companies, 3D printers aren’t just making objects — they’re printing money,too.
Two years after its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, 3D printer maker Formlabs has raised $19 million both to fuel the rollout its Form 1 printer and build its future has a hardware company.
While printers like the MakerBot Replicator create objects via layers of molten plastic, the Form 1 makes objects layer by layer by directing a laser across a tray of liquid resin. The process, called “stereolithography” creates objects both at high resolutions and at high speeds.
While high-end stereolithography machines run for hundreds of thousands of dollars, Formlabs has managed to get the price of its machine down to just over $3,000. The device, which officially ships next February, is already in the hands of hundreds of Kickstarter backers — which isn’t bad for hardware that was just a prototype a year ago.
Formlabs says it plans to use its new funding to speed-up manufacturing, up its research budget, and increase its marketing and customer service divisions.
“We are still in the early days of desktop 3D printing, and we’re going to stay at the forefront, working to provide you with the most capable, reliable, and accessible machines. We now have the resources to make that happen,” Formlabs co-founder Maxim Lobovsky said in blog post today.