Gillette partners with Formlabs to 3D print razor handles

3D printing for manufacturing is one of those things that gets talked about a lot, but we’ve yet to see a lot of truly mainstream applications for the technology. A new partnership between Gillette and MIT-born startup Formlabs offers up an interesting potential peak into such a future. Granted, customized razor handles is probably more […]

3D printing for manufacturing is one of those things that gets talked about a lot, but we’ve yet to see a lot of truly mainstream applications for the technology. A new partnership between Gillette and MIT-born startup Formlabs offers up an interesting potential peak into such a future.

Granted, customized razor handles is probably more of a novelty than anything. It’s not exactly as game changing as, say, Invisalign braces, prosthesis or even sneakers, but if the tech proves scalable it could add an extra level of customization to a product that’s a part of many of our day to day lives.

For now, Gillette’s 3D printed razor handle program is just a pilot the shaving giant is offering up in limited quantities. It starts at $19 and goes up to $45, depending on the materials used. Using the Razor Maker site, users can build their own distinct version. The handles are then printed out on Formlabs machines at Gillette’s Boston headquarters.

Formlabs goes unicorn with latest funding round

With its latest funding round, Formlabs has achieved unicorn status. The Massachusetts-based 3D printing startup just raised another $15 million. The latest round brings its total funding up to $100 million, and puts the company in the relatively rare air of hardware startups with valuations in excess of $1 billion. This latest funding, which follows […]

With its latest funding round, Formlabs has achieved unicorn status. The Massachusetts-based 3D printing startup just raised another $15 million. The latest round brings its total funding up to $100 million, and puts the company in the relatively rare air of hardware startups with valuations in excess of $1 billion. This latest funding, which follows a $30 million raise in April, is led by New Enterprise Associates.

The milestone is doubly impressive, given the state of 3D printing. After years of hype, the bubble burst, sending much of the competition scrambling. But Formlabs, which began life as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, set itself apart from the competition by offering industrial 3D printing in a desktop form factor.

That technology was quick to catch on among hardware prototypers looking to step up their game from the plastic depositing technology found on devices from companies like MakerBot. In recent years, the company has added more desktop manufacturing technologies and worked to push its existing tech into the burgeoning world of 3D printing for manufacturing.

Along with the new funding, Formlabs is also adding former GE CEO Jeff Immelt to its board of directors. 

“I’m excited to work with Formlabs at this pivotal time in the company’s development,” Immelt said in a release tied to the news. “Max and the team have demonstrated outstanding progress to date, with best-in-class technology and impressive momentum across a wide swath of industries, including engineering, healthcare and manufacturing. Since the company’s founding in 2011, they have outpaced competitors and established themselves as a leader in 3D printing. I look forward to supporting this next phase for the company as they accelerate adoption and continue to advance the technology.”

Formlabs currently employs 500 across North America, Europe and Asia.