SKOKIE -- Azul 3D is adding legendary investor Louis A. Simpson and 3D-printing veteran John Hartner to its board of directors.
This news comes on the heels of last month's announcement that 3D-printing veterans Wally Loewenbaum, former chairman of 3D Systems; Joe Allison, former CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing; and Hugh Evans, former senior vice president of corporate development for 3D Systems, all joined Azul 3D's investor pool.
After investing in Azul 3D's seed round, Simpson -- the former chief investment officer for GEICO and former manager of Berkshire Hathaway -- cites his confidence in Azul 3D co-founder and chair Chad Mirkin as one reason that he continues to support the company.
"I'm very excited to join the board of Azul 3D," Simpson said. "After many false starts, the 3D-printing market is on the verge of taking off. I've known Chad Mirkin for many years and have the utmost respect for his ability and integrity as one of the founders of this company."
Simpson joined GEICO in 1979 as senior vice president and CIO, becoming vice chairman of the board in 1985. When he retired in 2010, he was president and CEO of capital operations. Prior to joining GEICO, Simpson was president and CEO of Western Asset Management and a partner at Chicago investment firm Stein, Roe and Farnham. He also served as an economics instructor at Princeton University and adjunct professor of finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Hartner is CEO of ExOne, a global leader in metal additive manufacturing systems. After investing in Azul 3D's seed round, Hartner was inspired by the startup's proprietary high-area rapid printing (HARP TM) platform.
"This is the first polymer additive manufacturing platform that has the scale, speed and material palette to truly move 3D printing into scale production," Hartner said. "It opens up countless new applications that are impossible with traditional technologies. I'm excited to advise a talented team to leverage this breakthrough technology for production customers around the world."
With more than 30 years of experience in the automation, capital equipment and digital printing industries, Hartner says his career goal is to make 3D printing mainstream to help drive the next Industrial Revolution. Hartner has spent most of his career leading Fortune 500 multinational firms. Before joining ExOne, Hartner was COO of EnvisionTEC Inc., a leading provider of 3D-printing solutions in medical, dental and bio-fabrication application. He also founded Digital Industrialist, an early stage investment fund focused on digital manufacturing tech firms and served as former president of Dover Digital Printing, along with various roles at Rockwell International.