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3D printing company gets $30 million boost

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Shapeways, a website that's like Etsy for 3D printing, raised $30 million in a recent investment round led by the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, TechCrunch reports.

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.

3D Printing Company Shapeways Raises $30 Million C Round Led By Andreessen Horowitz [TechCrunch]

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— By on April 24, 2013, 3:43 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure