12/10/2015 | 1 MINUTE READ

Optomec Receives Strategic Investments from GE Ventures, Autodesk

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The investments will expand on historic collaborations and aid in the development of new 3D printing solutions.


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GE Ventures and Autodesk have made strategic investments in Optomec, through the company’s Spark Investment Fund. Optomec, a developer and supplier of production-grade additive manufacturing equipment, will use the funds to further the development, promotion and deployment of various solutions including 3D-printed sensors and antennae, advanced electronics packaging, and 3D-printed metal. The companies also intend to expand on a variety of historic collaborations. Together, the aim of these collaborations is to enable Optomec to offer more seamless industrially hardened solutions that reduce barriers in the adoption of additive manufacturing.

Optomec’s commercial relationship with GE dates back to 2005, when GE Global Research was one of the first customers to acquire an Aerosol Jet printed electronics system. More recently, GE has expanded its installation with systems at Power & Water, Aviation and Healthcare. One key area of collaboration is 3D sensors that are directly printed onto high-value components. These integrated sensors provide critical input to structural health and have the potential to substantially reduce the life cycle cost of complex mechanical systems, the companies say.

Similarly, Optomec has previously worked with Autodesk using its software tools to generate design data that ultimately drives Optomec’s printers. Both companies intend to work to collaboratively develop software tools that leverage the Spark 3D printing platform in better connecting hardware and software for additive manufacturing.

“The Spark Investment Fund aims to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing and we believe a connected ecosystem between hardware and software is key in spurring innovation and collaboration,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of consumer and 3D printing at Autodesk. “We’re excited to have a shared vision with Optomec in enabling additive manufacturing technology to be seamlessly integrated into conventional production platforms to advance the overall design and fabrication process.”

“Optomec is extremely pleased to welcome GE Ventures and Autodesk as strategic investors. Both companies are at the vanguard in embracing additive manufacturing as a next generation production technology.” said Optomec CEO Dave Ramahi, adding that “Our strategic visions are well-aligned on many fronts, ranging from the need for an open systems approach to drive adoption, to the role that these technologies can play in advancing key initiatives such as the Industrial Internet and IoT. We are very fortunate to be able to draw on their technical and commercial expertise.”  H