Autodesk acquires software startup netfabb to bolster prototyping design

Additionally, Autodesk said it is investing in netfabb's previous parent company FIT Technology Group.

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Autodesk on Thursday said it has acquired netfabb, a German software startup focused on additive design and manufacturing.

Additionally, Autodesk said it is investing in netfabb's previous parent company FIT Technology Group. Financial terms for either transaction were not disclosed.

For Autodesk, the deals highlight the company's efforts to make rapid prototyping about more than disposable models and plastics. The company wants to eventually refine the process and the materials used within it in order to 3D print production-grade parts at scale.

Autodesk said more than 80,000 designers, manufacturers, artists, researchers and developers currently use netfabb software as part of their 3D printing operation. Autodesk plans to keep netfabb's community intact, and will continue to sell and support netfabb software. There will be some integration however, as Autodesk said it will add netfabb's technology to the Fusion 360 and Spark 3D printing platforms.

Autodesk is in the middle of several transitions. Just a few weeks ago the company acquired SeeControl, a white label cloud platform used by industrial product makers looking to integrate smart sensors and services. Autodesk's aim with that acquisition would be to allow designers to create structures that could incorporate the Internet of things.

Autodesk is also in the process of moving to a cloud subscription model over its traditional licensed software business.