HP Ventures Investing in Shapeways, a 3D-Printing Service Provider

shapeways 3d printingAs we know, Hewlett-Packard is shortly set to roll out its own home-grown 3D printer, but it’s also exploring 3D-printing services, with HP Ventures reporting that HP recently made a capital investment in Shapeways, a leading 3D-printing service.

Other recently announced new funders of Sharpeways included The Netherlands-based investor, INKEF Capital and Presidio Ventures, the latter of which is the investment arm of the Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corporation. Current investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, and Lux Capital also contributed investments.

Shapeways says it will use the capital to invest in its community, continue to work on new features and materials for its platform, and boost its production environment and supply chain, which already includes two factories and many manufacturing partners. It says its partnership announced last year between HP and Shapeways to develop new 3D printers with faster print speed and better build quality is one such example.

“Hewlett Packard Ventures is excited to help Shapeways accelerate their momentum and scale their business around the world,” commented Lak Ananth, managing director of HP Ventures. “As a strategic partner, we will build upon our existing relationship with Shapeways to help make the vision and promise of 3D printing and additive manufacturing a reality.”

grumpy catShapeways launched in 2008, and is headquartered in New York, New York. At the Shapeway Web site, users can purchase 3D-printed products, including jewelry, art (such as the 3D-printed “Grumpy Cat” pictured above), and drone parts. Users may also submit 3D-object plans that Shapeways will 3D-print for a fee at its 3D-printer “factories,” and Shapeways provides an online forum for 3D-printing enthusiasts to exchange ideas.

According to Shapeways, it has 3D-printed more than 2.5 million products, and 150,000 new 3D-designs are uploaded to its Web site each month. Of its 620,000 community members, 30,000 sell their products on the Shapeways marketplace, which draws a global audience.

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