Formlabs raises $19M to build a better 3D printer

Formlabs, the company behind the much-hyped Form 1 3D printer, now has $19 million in Series A funding to expand uponĀ its wildly successful $3 million Kickstarter campaign.

DFJ Growth led the funding round, followed by Pitango Venture Capital, Innovation Endeavors and return angel investors. Somerville, Mass.-based Formlabs plans to use the money to expand its manufacturing, staff, marketing and customer support. It also plans to grow internationally, based out of it new 11,000 square foot building.

The Form 1 isn’t like other 3D printers on the market. It’s a stereolithography printer, which means it builds objects out of liquid resin instead of plastic. A laser cures one layer of resin at a time, while more traditional printers lay down layers of melted plastic that then harden.

Resin is poured into the Form 1's dish. Photo courtesy of Formlabs.

Resin is poured into the Form 1’s dish. Photo courtesy of Formlabs.

This has some big benefits, such as making the printer quiet and free of plastic smells. It also allows a higher quality print.

The Form 1 is currently available for $3,299, which makes it one of the most expensive consumer 3D printers on the market. The Peachy resin printer revealed in September is just $97, but its prints look to be of dramatically lower quality.

The Formlabs funding is affirming news for the emerging consumer 3D printer industry. No company has come close to matching the history of MakerBot, which raised $10 million in venture round funding in 2011 before being acquired this June. The funding indicates there is increased confidence 3D printers are moving from hackers’ garages into the home.

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