Why the startup has raised so much money; why we should care about expiring patents; and why Carbon3D still has a long way to go before they revolutionize manufacturing

It’s not often that a startup announces its presence in the way that Carbon3D has in the last four weeks. It added to that story today, announcing a $10 million investment from Autodesk’s Spark Investment Fund.

In addition to this latest announcement, Carbon3D’s emergence into the public consciousness over the last month has included:

“Disruptive products require disruptive channels” – Christensen and Raynor, The Innovator’s Solution

The importance of distribution channels is often overlooked when analyzing the evolution of disruptive technologies, however, few truly disruptive companies grow through traditional distribution channels. In many cases, the growth of the disruptive distribution channel paves the way for disruptive companies – allowing them to bloom by reaching non-traditional customers and eventually changing the way their industries work.

Japanese bioprinting firm, Cyfuse Biomedical, raises $11.7 million Series B; The intelligent money is on 3D printing of electronics

On 2 March, Cyfuse Biomedical K.K. announced they had completed a 1.4 billion JPY (approximately $11.7 million USD) Series B funding round, with participation from 12 investors, including venture capital funds and corporate investors as well as government support. The Japanese BioPrinting firm has now raised a total of 1.98 billion JPY, which includes a 422 million JPY (approximately $4.77 million USD) Series A back in January 2013.

Sols raises $11.1 million Series B; Stratasys acquires 3D printing consultancy Econolyst

Today, two major deals were announced in the advanced manufacturing world: one, a vote of confidence for a future of mass customization; the other, an acknowledgement that in order for the additive manufacturing / 3D printing market to grow, traditional product manufacturers will require advice on how to best utilize the disruptive technology.

3D Systems branches out with new acquisition; NVBots and New Matter score funding; VC funding for 3D printed casts and splints

It was a very busy week in the advanced manufacturing venture space as three startups scored VC funding, while 3D Systems continued to grow through acquisitions. It continued an exciting start to 2015 for the advanced manufacturing startup sector, which, thus far, has shown a bias towards the development of low price printers and digital design.

Over the last few months, Manufacturing Disruption has published a series of articles describing opportunities created in the additive manufacturing / 3D printing industry and how VC firms can capitalize on these opportunities. The genesis of the research began with an independent project I began at London Business School during my Executive MBA and the more I got into the topic, the more promise it showed.

My research has shown four distinct strategies for value creation and capture arising from additive manufacturing technology, with corresponding opportunities across the venture capital industry, from small seed funds to corporate VC funds, all the way up to major top-tier firms. Each strategy is summarized below and includes links to in-depth articles:

Stratasys to invest in the future; Bolt raises new fund, expands and partners

Up and down news from the advanced manufacturing funding realm this week: Stratasys came out with a press release regarding its preliminary FY 2014 financial results indicating an impairment of $100-110 million on MakerBot while making plans for future investment across a number of areas. Meanwhile, Bolt – an early-stage venture capital firm specializing in startups at the hardware/software interface – announced a new $25 million fund (Fund II) and expansion to a second facility in San Francisco. As if that wasn’t enough, a few days later, Bolt and well-known seed accelerator Y Combinator jointly announced a partnership that will see Bolt’s partners and engineering staff added to Y Combinator’s already impressive list of mentors, while offering access to Bolt’s workshop facility to YC hardware startups.