Carbon3D has been the darling of the media since it unveiled its ultra-fast CLIP 3D printing technology earlier this year. The startup had already raised $41 million from Series A and B funding rounds with Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake Kraftwerk, respectively, and, shortly after making its debut to the public, it wasn’t long before Carbon3D took in another $10 million from Autodesk’s Spark Investment Fund and started taking on beta testers, like Ford and Legacy Effects. Today, the Silicon Valley startup demonstrated that that was just the beginning, announcing a $100 million Series C funding round led by Google Ventures.
What makes this young firm worth $100 million and then some? The most immediately appealing feature of Carbon3D’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production is how fast it is, at 25-100 times the speed of other 3D printing technologies. This is made possible by an oxygen-permeable window that allows UV light to harden its photosensitive resin continuously, revealing no discernible layering, as seen with other 3D printing techniques. On top of that, Carbon3D claims that its CLIP technology can produce parts with consistent mechanical properties, similar to those produced by injection molding. Plus, it looks really cool!
So, naturally, why wouldn’t Google – a company that already has its fingers in the pots of robotics, telecommunications, surveillance, shopping, social networking, 3D vision, smartphones, and every other thing interpellating your life – not invest in a super fast manufacturing technology? The Series C funding round included the aforementioned Series A and B investors, with Northgate Capital, as well as Yuri Milner, Reinet Fund S.C.A., and F.I.S. During this round, the $10 million from Autodesk was converted into equity.
Of the investment, Carbon3D CEO & founder Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, inventor of the technology, said, “We are excited to have closed this round of financing with such incredible partners who will help us deliver on our vision. Together we have a tremendous opportunity to enable a renaissance in manufacturing.” Andy Wheeler, General Partner of Google’s investment wing, added, “Carbon3D’s printing technology is an order of magnitude faster than existing technologies. Carbon3D’s technology has the potential to dramatically expand the 3D printing market beyond where it stands today and reshape the manufacturing landscape.”
With the funds, Carbon3D will be able to continue to improve its technology further, which, according to Ford, is already capable of producing parts quickly and with the ideal physical properties for some applications. The auto company was also able to test out Carbon3D’s nanoparticle reinforced resin, which is likely to be one among many materials being developed by the startup. As Carbon3D slowly leaks news about its partnerships and the uses of its technology, there will only be more such stories to come, given the $100 million that has just given an already exciting startup a turbo boost.