Optomec, based in Albuquerque, USA, has announced that both GE Ventures and Autodesk, Inc have recently made strategic investments in the company. The investments will be used to further the development, promotion and deployment of Optomec’s proprietary Additive Manufacturing solutions for a range of industrial applications. Additionally, it was stated that the companies intend to expand on a variety of historic collaborations.
“Optomec is extremely pleased to welcome GE Ventures and Autodesk as strategic investors,” stated Optomec CEO, Dave Ramahi. “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.”
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. Such tightly integrated sensors provide critical input to structural health and have the potential to substantially reduce the life cycle cost of complex mechanical systems.
“It’s always a great opportunity when we are able to invest in a company we’ve been working with as part of a customer relationship,” stated Steve Taub, Senior Director, Advanced Manufacturing at GE Ventures. “We know from direct experience that Optomec’s advanced manufacturing solutions are successful and look forward to its continued developments within the space.”
The investment from Autodesk was made through its Spark Investment Fund. “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,” stated Samir Hanna, Vice President and General Manager, Consumer and 3D Printing, 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 has previously worked with Autodesk using its software tools to generate design data that ultimately drives Optomec’s AM systems. 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.