Autodesk launches 3D Printing innovation fund

Autodesk has announced that it intends to invest up to $100m (£62.6m) in 3D printing companies over the next several years.

The Spark Investment Fund, which will be operated within Autodesk, is for the 3D printing industry and will invest in entrepreneurs, startups and researchers of 3D printing technology.

Autodesk makes software for the architecture, engineering, construction and manufacturing industries.

Earlier this year, California-based Autodesk announced Spark, an open software platform for 3D printing that will connect digital information to 3D printers. Spark will connect to any hardware.

Companies and developing hardware, software and materials are encouraged to apply to participate in the Spark Investment Fund’s investment portfolio. In addition to the financial investment, Spark Investment Fund recipients will become part of the Spark partner program and have access to marketing and other developer services available.

“The days of taking a closed, top-down approach to innovating for additive manufacturing are behind us. Numerous industries recognise the value of tapping into entrepreneurs or startups with better ideas and approaches, and 3D printing is no exception,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of Consumer Products and 3D Printing at Autodesk. “The Spark Investment Fund will empower innovators to improve 3D printing, and to help us unlock the tremendous promise of this technology.”