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Airbus Ventures backs 3-D printing and design

Image: Local Motors LM3D Swim
Local Motors is working on a 3D-printed car called the LM3D Swim. (Credit: Local Motors)

Airbus Ventures, the European aerospace giant’s Silicon Valley spin-off, says the first investment from its $150 million venture fund is going to Local Motors, a Phoenix-based company that aims to sell 3D-printed cars based on open-source designs.

“Not since the space race has there been a bigger opportunity for aerospace innovation,” Tim Dombrowski, managing general partner of Airbus Ventures, wrote in Friday’s announcement on Medium’s website.

The $150 million fund, Airbus Group Venture Fund I, will take advantage of opportunities to “accelerate innovation in near ground, air and space flight,” Dombrowski wrote.

He acknowledged that Local Motors “may seem like a surprising investment” for Airbus but argued that the deal was a “perfect fit.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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