3D Systems announced today that it has joined Planetary Resources' core group of investors and will be a collaborative partner in assisting Planetary Resources to develop and manufacture components of its ARKYD Series of spacecraft using its advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing solutions.
Planetary Resources already has multiple contracts to develop miniaturized and responsive technologies with far-reaching applications to space assessment, accessibility and resource recovery with a primary goal to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, ranging from elements used in rocket fuel to precious metals, through the development of innovative and cost-effective robotic exploration technologies. The companies see additive manufacturing technologies as enabling to the development of future space infrastructure.
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc., said, "We are absolutely thrilled to partner with 3D Systems, the world's pioneer and leader in 3D printing and advanced manufacturing, as we pursue our vision to expand the resource base beyond Earth. 3D Systems has a long history of inventing, advancing and democratizing manufacturing – and our vision of mass producing the ARKYD 100, 200 and 300 line will greatly benefit from their thinking and technology."
"We are excited to work very closely with Planetary Resources' engineering team to use advanced 3D printing and manufacturing technologies to increase functionality while decreasing the cost of their ARKYD spacecraft," said Avi Reichental, Chief Executive Officer, 3D Systems. "In success, we will create the smartphone of spacecraft and transform what has been an old-style, labor-intensive process, into something very scalable and affordable that will democratize access to space, the data collected from space and off-Earth resources for scientists and the public. We are delighted to join the Planetary Resources team."
In connection with this investment, 3D Systems announced the formation of 3D Systems Ventures, a new investment arm that will identify, seek and manage its seed investments in promising enterprises that will benefit from or be powered by the company's leading technologies. The venture arm will be headed by Hugh Evans from T. Rowe Price who will join 3D Systems as the Vice President Corporate Ventures.