Autodesk will invest US$100 million in 3D printing companies, joining a growing list of vendors with financial stakes in the sector.
The software vendor will invest in companies who “push the boundaries of 3D printing technology”, including hardware, software, materials, marketplaces and “maker spaces”.
The Spark Investment Fund, as the initiative is named, will also include access to Autodesk’s Spark partner program, including marketing and developer services.
The move follows Autodesk’s launch of its first 3D printer and Spark 3D printing software platform which it will freely license to hardware manufacturers.
Autodesk joins several major vendors that have made announcements or entered the 3D printing space. This month HP announced plans for its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology in 2016, while Amazon now allows customers to print 3D objects on demand. Earlier this year Fuji Xerox announced it was investigating 3D printing technology.
In Victoria, the government has promised 3D printers for secondary schools if it wins the upcoming state election.