Innovative collaboration will transform the manufacturing of asteroid prospecting spacecraft
ROCK HILL, South Carolina, June 26, 2013 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Planetary Resources, Inc. today announced that 3D Systems 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.
“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.”
Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., 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.”
In connection with this investment, the 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.
Learn more about the company’s printers, parts and software at www.3DSystems.com
About 3D Systems
3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including 3D printers, print materials and on-demand custom parts services for professionals and consumers alike. The company also provides CAD, reverse engineering and inspection software tools and consumer 3D printers, apps and services. Its expertly integrated solutions replace and complement traditional methods and reduce the time and cost of designing new products by printing real parts directly from digital input. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, prototype or produce real parts, empowering customers to create and make with confidence.
More information on 3D Systems is available at www.3DSystems.com
About Planetary Resources, Inc.
Planetary Resources, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. Our vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence. The company will conduct low-cost robotic space exploration beginning with the ARKYD Series of space missions that will identify the most commercially viable near-Earth asteroids. These initial missions will assist the company in enabling the retrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, including water, precious metals and more.
Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, three of whom include Google’s CEO Larry Page & Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt; and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group; who are committed to expanding the world’s resource base so humanity can continue to grow and prosper for centuries to come. Some of the company’s partners and advisors include the Bechtel Corporation; film maker and explorer James Cameron; former Chief of Staff, United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.); and Sara Seager, Ph.D., Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at MIT. Members of the company’s technical staff have worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, and include other key non-aerospace and safety-critical disciplines.