Desktop Metal was founded in October 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a startup company focused on 3D metal printing. Among the seven founders were Ric Fulop and Jonah Myerberg of A123 Systems, Rick Chin of SolidWorks, and Yet-Ming Chiang, Ely Sachs, Chris Schuh, and A. John Hart of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Sachs was known for coining the term 3D printing years earlier. At the time of its founding, the company was developing a process for metal 3D printing that would be fast and small enough for office settings. Xconomy wrote that the company's intent was to create a metal 3D printer that would "churn out parts more quickly" and be "much cheaper, smaller, safer and easier to operate" than alternatives on the market. To eliminate the need for trained personnel to operate the equipment, dangerous features such as lasers were not made a part of the design process. By October 2015 the company had 11 employees, with Ric Fulop as CEO.Initially the company raised around $14 million in startup funding, with leading Series A funders including New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins, and Lux Capital. By the spring of 2016, the company was headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts and had developed functioning prototypes. After former investors injected an additional $34 million into Desktop Metal in April 2016, that summer the company raised funding from investors including GE Ventures and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. By February 2017, the company had moved its headquarters to Burlington, Massachusetts. That month the company raised $45 million in a Series C round of venture funding led by GV and including participation from BMW iVentures and Lowe's Ventures. With total raised brought to $97 million, the capital was used for research and development, with plans to begin selling the first product later that year in a variety of industries.
Desktop Metal was collaborating with Ford Motor Company's research and advanced engineering and manufacturing teams by 2017, refining its system to meet manufacturing requirements. Desktop Metals was also working with BMW in Munich to explore eliminating the need to warehouse parts, and companies such as Milwaukee Tools and Jabil Circuit Inc. A U.S. were evaluating the printers for production use. The company revealed two distinct metal 3D printing systems in late April 2017: a studio model and a production model. The Studio System, safe for office settings is designed for rapid printing and the production of small volumes, while the latter is intended for high-speed production of parts. Both systems include a printer, furnace, and cloud-based software to operate the machines, with the ability to print several hundred alloy types. Forbes described the pricing scheme of the products as "competitive," noting the systems cost "10 times less than what's on the market."Stratasys, an investor in Desktop Metal, announced in May 2017 that its resellers would stock Desktop Metal's products. The World Economic Forum named Desktop Metal to its 2017 Technology Pioneers list of 30 companies in June, and also that month, MIT Technology Review named Desktop Metal among its 50 Smartest Companies in the World for the year. Desktop Metal raised a total of $115 million in a Series D round of funding in July 2017, its largest round to that point. Funds went to R&D, its sales program, and international growth and brought the total raised since founding to $212 million. The company began shipping the Studio System in December 2017 as part of its "Pioneer" program. The first printer went to Google's Advanced Technology and Products Group and among other early customers were the United States Navy, Built-Rite Tool & Die, and Lumenium.
By early 2018 the company had been granted two patents for separable support and an interface layer, with around 100 patents pending for around 200 inventions. In February 2018 the company previewed Live Parts, a software program for automatically generating printable designs.At CES 2018 Desktop Metal won an emerging tech award from Digital Trends. In 2018 it also won a Gold Edison Award. In March 2018, Ford Motor Company led a $65 million investment round in Desktop Metal, with Ford's CTO joining Desktop Metal's board of directors. With a $1.2 billion valuation, by May 2018 Desktop Metal had been named the fast growing "unicorn" in United States history, surpassing $1 billion after 21 months in operation. Desktop Metal introduced an upgrade to its industrial scale systems at Formnext 2018, claiming the 50% printing speed increase made the model "the fastest metal printer in the world." Cofounder Ric Fulop asserted that the system dropped the price per part significantly compared to other systems, in one case from $700 per kilo of parts to $50 a kilo.
In January 2019, Desktop Metal raised an additional $160 million in funding, resulting in a valuation at $1.5 billion. By May 2019, the company employed around 300 people, mostly engineers, with the machines made through contract manufacturing. It also had a sales channel distributing in 48 countries. In June 2019, the company began shipping to Europe. By 2019, the company had raised $437 million from investors, and was one of only three 3D printing unicorns. In November it introduced a system for metal job shops and a system using fiber placement.
In December 2020, the company started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker DM. They did this via a reverse IPO merger with Trine Acquisition Corp. , a special-purpose acquisition company.
In January 2021, Desktop Metal purchased EnvisionTEC, a German company that specializes in photopolymer printing. On March 15th, Desktop Metal announced its new line Desktop Health, specifically focused on healthcare products in the fields of dentistry, orthodontics, dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology, plastic surgery, and printed regenerative. Also in March, Michael Mazen Jafar came on board as CEO of the new line.
Mr. Rick Chin (Co-Founder)
Dr. Emanuel M. Sachs Ph.D. (Co-Founder & Technical Fellow)
Prof. Christopher A. Schuh Ph.D. (Co-Founder)
Prof. A. John Hart Ph.D. (Co-Founder)
Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang (Co-Founder)
Mr. Jason Cole (CFO & Treasurer)
Mr. Thomas Nogueira (Chief Operating Officer)
Recognition and Awards
Mr. Ric Fulop (Co-Founder & CEO)
Mr. Jonah Myerberg (Co-Founder, CTO & Sr. VP of Global Engineering)
Mr. Arjun Aggarwal (EVP of Corp. Devel.)