Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is making a bet on 3D printing in a big way. On Tuesday 3D printing startup Shapeways announced that it’s raised a $30 million Series C round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, and also including existing investors Lux Capital, Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures.
New York-based Shapeways sells 3D printing services to designers and makers and also has an Etsy-like marketplace for creators. The startup, a transplant from the Netherlands, was printing more than 100,000 products a month and had over 150,000 users inside its community last year, so has no doubt grown that audience and volume since then.
Last month Shapeways debuted their new API which enables developers to create consumer facing applications that can tap into the Shapeways printing network and marketplace. That’s important because, as GigaOM Pro analyst Mike Wolf explained it, the API gives Shapeways greater access to the bigger, non-maker audience who want access to 3D printed objects but don’t want to learn how to use sophisticated 3D design software.
Shapeways has been planning to expand through its new New York factory, which is supposed to occupy up to 30,000 feet in Long Island City. Previously, much of the printing work was being done in Europe at its Eindhoven factory in the Netherlands or through partners.
Check out our Field Guide to 3D Printing on GigaOM Pro (subscription required), which defines 3D printing as:
[A] process that produces physical 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material. Direct from a computer model, objects are “grown.” These objects can be almost anything: engineering prototypes of automotive components, tooling for manufacturing, medical implants, architectural models and sellable goods for end users.
We’ll be digging into 3D printing more at our RoadMap conference on connected design in November in San Francisco. To be the first to register for this event sign up here.