Autodesk , Inc. plans to invest up to $100 million in 3D printing
companies over the next several years to encourage the development of
innovative 3D printing technologies.
The first of its kind for the 3D printing industry, Autodesk’s Spark
Investment Fund will invest in entrepreneurs, startups and researchers who push
the boundaries of 3D printing technology and accelerate the new industrial
The latest announcement follows Autodesk’s introduction of Spark, an
open and free software platform for 3D printing that will connect digital
information to 3D printers in a new way. Autodesk has invited the entire 3D
printing community to collaborate, build and improve the platform, as well as its
associated Ember 3D printers and materials.
Companies and individuals developing groundbreaking hardware, software,
materials, marketplaces and maker spaces are encouraged to apply to participate
in the Spark Investment Fund’s investment portfolio. In addition to the
financial investment, Spark Investment Fund recipients will become part of the
Spark partner program and have access to marketing and other developer services
available to Spark partners.
Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Consumer Products and
3D Printing at Autodesk explains that the initiative is a big step away from
the days of taking a closed, top-down approach to innovating for additive
manufacturing. Observing that numerous industries recognise the value of
tapping into entrepreneurs or startups with better ideas and approaches, he
added that the Spark Investment Fund will empower innovators to improve 3D
printing, and help them unlock the tremendous promise of this technology.