Currently, the company provides a place for designers to create products, on demand, using 3D printers and then offers a marketplace for designers to sell their products. There are currently one million products for sale and 60,000 new designs added each month. The company plans to use the funding to build more factories to localize production. Right now it takes between 10 and 21 business days before a designer gets to see their prototype in person.
But will we soon see 3D printing become even more hyperlocalized, in your home for example? Here's what Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen, had to say about that to TechCrunch:
“In particular 3D printing is at a point where it’s been used for a long time and at the hobbyist level,” he said. “We’re making kind of a bet now that it’s ready to go more mainstream.”
When asked whether they would even invest in a home 3D printer company, Dixon demurred but was still optimistic. “Maybe some day they’ll come down in price. There is value in both the printer model and the service model,” he said.
Here's a look at Shapeways' 3D printing "factory of the future" in New York City.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- 3D printing ‘factory of the future’ launches in New York City
- Sculpteo’s 3D printing service brings designs to life
- Our three-dimensional future: how 3D printing will shape the global economy
- Why businesses should adopt 3D printing now
- Dreambox: A 3D printing vending machine
- Where to find a 3D printer nearby