Autodesk to invest $100m in 3D printing startups

Just a few months after it announced its plans to produce and sell a 3D printer based on its own open-source 3D printing platform called Spark, Autodesk has revealed that it will be investing $100 million (about £62 million, AU$113 million) in 3D printing companies.

GigaOM quotes the company's consumer group vice president, Samir Hanna saying "We want to make sure we bring the best minds together that will develop in the fastest possible way the 3D printing ecosystem, hopefully at a much faster pace than has happened to date".

Both hardware and software companies will be considered during the funding process and it will be interesting to see what factors Autodesk will use to determine successful candidates.

3D printing is slowly gathering momentum; one of the world's biggest printer market, Kinpo Group, has already invested heavily in that market and suggests that a £200 3D printer might be available next year.

And analyst firm Gartner has been positive about the technology suggesting that the market for 3D printers will double every year to reach 2.3 million by 2018.