If adulation for Brooklyn’s own Bre Pettis from sources like Time magazine and Stephen Colbert is any indication, 3D printing has found its way into the cultural ether. Who doesn’t like the idea of a machine that spits out a product based on your digital specifications? It’s even saving the poor homeless hermit crabs, didja hear?
Well, the personalized manufacturing revolution is not lost on VCs.
Shapeways, the company Betabeat called a contender for the next Etsy, just raised an impressive $5.1 million from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures—the same VC firms that invested $5 million in Shapeways’s series A round last September. Unlike Maker Bot, which creates open source 3D printers, Shapeways focuses on printing out your designs and setting up (an Etsy-like) marketplace for designers to sell their goods.
In addition to the $5.1 million, the startup, which is headquartered near Madison Park, also got a loan commitment of $1.2 million from NYC Investment Fund.
But the really big news, at least for New York City, is that the company plans on opening up local printing facilities, reports TechCrunch.
Currently, Shapeways production office is located in the Netherlands (the Dutch startup moved to New York after an investment from USV). Heretofore, the company printed orders over there or through third-parties contractors. With a local facility, turnaround will be faster and prices lower. “The company hasn’t specified exactly what kind of savings to expect just yet, but I’m told they will be substantial,” says TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid.
Okay, so who wants an iPhone 4 case in the shape of a boom box? We’re thinking of actually giving people presents this year. If they’re nice.