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Carbon, a digital 3D printing company for manufacturing industries, has announced the first closing in a $200 million series D round of funding from Baillie Gifford, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Adidas VC arm Hydra Ventures, and GE Ventures, among other investors.
Founded out of Redwood City, California in 2013, Carbon describes itself as working at the “intersection of hardware, software, and molecular science” to bring digital 3D printing to manufacturing.
The company hit the headlines in April this year when Adidas announced its Futurecraft 4D shoe, which sports a 3D-printed sole courtesy of Carbon’s technology, and which Adidas plans to mass produce next year.
Carbon said its 3D printing alternative meshes light and oxygen to quickly produce products from a pool of resin. The speed 3D printing technique enables manufacturers to offer mass customization and on-demand inventory that has been difficult to deliver with existing manufacturing methods.
Prior to now, Carbon had raised around $220 million in funding from such companies as BMW, Nikon, and GV (Google Ventures), and with its latest cash injection the company plans to scale its technology across manufacturing.
“The age of digital 3D manufacturing is here, and this funding validates our vision to fundamentally change how the world designs, engineers, makes, and delivers products,” said Carbon CEO and cofounder Dr. Joseph DeSimone. “Since Carbon first introduced digital light synthesis, we have continuously pushed the boundaries and transformed industries, and [we] are uniquely positioned to take digital manufacturing to an entirely new level. This funding will help us realize new classes of workers and business models, where product design and engineering is facilitated by cloud-based computing and a wide range of scanning, sensor, and simulation technologies that enable the creation of perfectly tuned — even personalized — products that have been previously impossible to produce.”
Though 3D printing has held promise for many years, it has yet to take hold in the manufacturing sphere at scale. But it still remains a hot industry for investment. Last month, Markforged raised $30 million to simplify the manufacturing process for 3D printing, while Desktop Metal nabbed $115 million earlier this year to make metal 3D printing more accessible. Elsewhere, HP and Deloitte recently partnered to bring more 3D printing services to manufacturers.
With another $200 million incoming, Carbon should play a big role in advancing the 3D manufacturing movement.
“Through a combination of faster production times, lower costs, and a wider range of materials, Carbon is delivering on the long-standing but elusive promise of 3D manufacturing at scale,” added Peter Singlehurst, investment manager at Baillie Gifford.
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