Software company, Autodesk, will invest up to $100 million in 3D printing companies over the next few years.
The NASDAQ-listed company has created the Spark Investment Fund, which will be operated within Autodesk, and is the first of its kind for the 3D printing industry.
In a company release, Autodesk stated that through the Fund it will invest in entrepreneurs, startups and researchers who push the boundaries of 3D printing technology and accelerate the new industrial revolution.
Autodesk vice-president and general manager, consumer products and 3D printing, Samir Hanna, said, “The days of taking a closed, top-down approach to innovating for additive manufacturing are behind us. Numerous industries recognise the value of tapping into entrepreneurs or startups with better ideas and approaches, and 3D printing is no exception.
"The Spark Investment Fund will empower innovators to improve 3D printing, and to help us unlock the tremendous promise of this technology.”
Earlier this year, Autodesk unveiled Spark, an open and free (subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license and services agreement) software platform for 3D printing that will connect digital information to 3D printers in a new way.
Spark will connect to any hardware and be materials agnostic. Autodesk has invited the entire 3D printing community to collaborate, build and improve the platform, its associated Ember 3D printer 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.