June 4, 2014
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
We’ll start off today’s Roundup with some money matters. Mcor Technologies has received a €6.6 million (nearly $9 million) investment from WHEB Partners, the London and Munich based private equity fund manager. This follows a €15m (a little over $20 million) investment from Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Mcor produces AM systems that use paper instead of plastic or other materials for its 3D printing process.
“We are experiencing strong demand internationally for our products and this investment from WHEB will allow us to deliver on our exciting sales pipeline and, together with WHEB, build Mcor into a global 3D printing company,” said Conor MacCormack, CEO and co-founder of Mcor. “We now have all the ingredients necessary to create a world beating 3D printing technology company, with new and innovative products on the horizon.”
Moving on to other financial news, startup Structured Polymers has generated $1.5 million in seed funding from crowdfunding facilitator MicroVentures. Structured Polymers is led by CEO Vikram Devarajan and Carl Deckard, the inventor of the selective laser sintering (SLS) process. The startup is developing new materials specifically for AM and an improved SLS 3D printer.
“We are at a major turning point in the 3D printing industry due to 20-year-old hardware patents expiring. This presents new opportunities in the commercial 3D printing market in particular, and Structured Polymers is set to capitalize on these changes by offering more specialized materials at lower costs than the limited materials available now,” said Devarajan. “MicroVentures recognized the opportunity this represents for investors and worked quickly to secure the majority of the funding we needed in less than a week.”
Next up, Hasbro has filed a trademark application for the name “ALLSPARK” and lists a number of potential AM applications in the filing. This move into 3D printing likely comes as a result of Hasbro’s deal with 3D Systems, and may indicate a shift in the toy company’s thinking about the future of manufacturing.
One detail of the filing suggests the company will provide a system for the creation of 3D digital designs, potentially for production on home 3D printers. A blurb from Avi Reichental, president and CEO, 3DS gives some credence to this theory.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Hasbro, a premier, global, branded play company, to jointly define, shape and lead the entire digital play space, powered by 3D printing,” said Reichental.
Last up for today, if you’ve ever considered investing in a home AM system, but weren’t sure what you could make with it beyond toys and oddities, Bar Mixvah has your answer. Designed by Yu Jiang Tham, Bar Mixvah is a robotic bartender that can be assembled for around $180, assuming you have access to a 3D printer. The robot is open source and, along with a 3D printer and booze, requires an Arduino microcontroller to build.
Below you’ll find a demonstration of Tham’s mixing masterpiece.