Optomec’s Aerosol Jet 5 Axis System for printing conformal sensors and antennas onto 3D structures. Photo courtesy Business Wire.
Optomec’s Aerosol Jet 5 Axis System for printing conformal sensors and antennas onto 3D structures. Photo courtesy Business Wire.

Additive manufacturing (AM) specialist Optomec reports that GE Ventures and Autodesk Inc have both made strategic investments in the company. The money will be used to further the development, promotion and deployment of Optomec’s solutions for a range of production applications, including 3D printed sensors/antenna, advanced electronics packaging and 3d printed metal.

Optomec’s commercial relationship with GE dates back to 2005, when GE Global Research was one of the first customers to acquire an Aerosol Jet printed electronics system. More recently, GE has expanded its installation with systems at power & water, aviation and healthcare.

Similarly, Optomec has previously worked with Autodesk using its software tools to generate design data that ultimately drives Optomec’s printers. Both companies intend to develop software tools that improve the Spark 3D printing platform with better connecting hardware and software for AM.

‘It’s always a great opportunity when we are able to invest in a company we’ve been working with as part of a customer relationship,’ said Steve Taub, senior director, advanced manufacturing at GE Ventures.

‘The Spark Investment Fund aims to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing, and we believe a connected ecosystem between hardware and software is key in spurring innovation and collaboration,’ said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, consumer and 3D printing, Autodesk.

This story is reprinted from material from Optomec, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.