Headmade Materials Receives €1.9 Million in Funding for “Cold Metal Fusion” 3D Printing Process

Based in Wuerzburg, Germany, Headmade Materials not only offers patented sinter-based cold metal fusion (CMF) technology to its customers, but also encourages them to consider new ways to design and manufacture with 3D printing technology—while still falling back on conventional methods as needed. Its innovative and low-cost printing processes for metal have earned the company the attention of users seeking support in design, part manufacturing, and process integration, as the well as the recent reward of €1.9 million in funding from the Industrial Technologies Fund of btov Partners.

The hefty sum will be put toward “scaling up” its technology, according to a recent press release sent to 3DPrint.com. The company will also be developing customer and marketing services further. As a spinoff of Würzburg-based polymer research institute SKZ, the Headmade Materials team has been working on its cold metal fusion technology for five years. As it partners with btov, it is expected that research and development will progress more rapidly.

“We see the Cold Metal Fusion technology as a very viable approach for serial production due to the high cost efficiency of the process. The combination of mechanical part properties known from metal powder injection molding (MIM) process and considerable process advantages, such as reduced safety requirements due to easier powder handling and higher green part stability, is also significant here,” says Robert Gallenberger, partner of the btov Industrial Technologies Fund.

Cold metal fusion technology began at the hands of founders Christian Fischer and Christian Staudigel in 2015 while both were still employed at a research institute. Sharing an interest in machine building, their goal was to bring serial production to 3D printing—eliminating limitations, lack of affordability, and creating better designs for a range of applications.

The process is different from other 3D printing techniques as it combines metal sintering with SLS printing (usually reserved for manufacturing of 3D printing plastics). The key is in the plastic binder mixed into metal powder, allowing for more versatile use; for example, with cold metal fusion, metal parts can be printed on laser sintering systems meant for plastics like the EOS Formiga P110 or the Sintratec S2. The components are then placed in a debinder and then furnace for final sintering.

Headmade Materials claims that other benefits of CMF include the ability to use a greater range of “mature machine technology,” requiring no build plates or support structures. Users can count on savings in time and money, with increased productivity. Feedstock left un-used can easily be reused, and because of superior green part strength, both automated depowdering solutions and rough production environments are acceptable. Perhaps more importantly, because the process can be performed using existing SLS machines, owners of those systems can begin making metal parts without investing in new metal 3D printers, even the new generation of bound metal printing processes, like those from Desktop Metal.

“When it comes to the economical series production of complex metal parts, there is no way around 3D printing with the cold metal fusion technology,” says the Headmade Materials team in their white paper, “Cold Metal Fusion / Metal SLS Technology.”

Image from “Cold Metal Fusion / Metal SLS Technology,” illustrating the CMF process.

The Headmade Materials team plans to 3D print series with up to 100,000 parts per year. Currently, it offers its sinter-based 3D printing processes to customers, using optimized feedstocks and services whether in helping with design and production, in-house production, or ready-to-use final parts.

Overall, 3D printing with metal continues to increase in popularity for industrial users, from taking advantage of micro-gravity and 3D printing in space with the potential for large structures, to experimenting with new materials, and even furthering electronics with liquid alloys.

[Source: EU-Startups / Images: Headmade Materials]

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3D Printing News Briefs: May 12, 2020 Nanofabrica, Voxeljet, Elementum, AMPOWER

We’re all business today in 3D Printing News Briefs – Nanofabrica has raised $4 million in funding, and voxeljet is expanding its presence in India. Elementum 3D has achieved an important industry certification. Finally, AMPOWER has released its 2020 report.

Nanofabrica Raises $4 Million in Funding

Tel Aviv startup Nanofabrica, which makes 3D printers for fabricating complex electronic and optical parts for semiconductors and medical devices, has raised $4 million in funding, and the round was led by Microsoft’s venture arm M12, which invests in enterprise software companies in Series A through C funding with a focus on infrastructure, applied AI, business applications, and security, and NextLeap Ventures, an investor group made of former Intel Corp employees. The startup says it will use the funding – it’s raised a total of $7 million so far – to expand its sales and continue its R&D work.

M12 partner Matthew Goldstein said, “Nanoscale, precision manufacturing is a growing need for R&D organizations, as well as production-scale manufacturing companies,” and that the technology allows for the “digital mass manufacturing of precision parts.”

voxeljet Grows Presence in India with Sale of VX4000

The VX4000 is voxeljet’s largest 3D printer and has a building volume of 8 cubic meters

Industrial 3D printing solutions provider voxeljet AG has expanded its Asian presence with the announcement that Indian steel casting experts Peekay Steel Castings Pvt Ltd is investing in its 4000 x 2000 x 1000 mm VX4000 3D printer – the company’s largest industrial system. Peekay Steel, which makes high-quality steel castings, will use the printer to expand into new business areas and better cater to its current clients’ increasing demands. The flexibility, size, and speed of the VX4000 will allow the company to continue supporting the foundry industry in its native India, but also give them the opportunity to build a new Knowledge Center centered around the large 3D printer that will provide open access to a training facility. The VX4000 will be set up at a new Bangalore location in the Airport City.

“We want to offer our customers an end-to-end solution and position ourselves as a supplier of high-quality, ready-to-install components in record times. With the VX4000, we are able to increase the flexibility of our production in order to be able to react quickly, even to complex projects,” said K.E. Shanavaz, Jt., Managing Director, Peekay Steel Castings (P) Ltd. “3D printing gives us a unique competitive advantage, especially when it comes to expanding our business areas. Since the beginning, we have emphasized the importance of co engineering with our customers, most of these are Fortune 500 companies, to optimize and customize the product design, to lend better functionality and a clear competitive advantage. A specialized Design Center aligned to the VX4000 will help add value for our customers.”

Elementum 3D Achieves Quality Management Certification

Colorado metal 3D printing materials company Elementum 3D announced that it has received the important ISO 9001:2015 certification. This is recognized as the worldwide standard for quality management practices and systems, and was issued to the company through the Denver-based ISO 9001 management certification firm Platinum Registration, Inc. The scope of its certification includes manufacturing prototype and production parts to customer specifications, designing and manufacturing advanced composites, metals, and superalloys, and developing new manufacturing processes.

“This is an important milestone for Elementum 3D. It’s a rigorous process to become ISO 9001 certified. Our staff worked very hard with Platinum Registration’s auditors to demonstrate we meet the requirements of the standard. Not only does that make us feel confident we’re the most efficient that we can be, it assures our customers that we have a completely transparent and robust management system; and that means we have reliable, repeatable, continuously improving business processes so that our customers receive the best value for their money,” said Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein, Elementum 3D President and Founder.

AMPOWER Releases 2020 Metal AM Report

Metal additive manufacturing consultancy AMPOWER has released its new 2020 report, containing analysis based on over 250 data sets of metal AM supplier and user surveys. If you purchased the previous AMPOWER Report, you can get the latest edition for free through the online portal, or you could subscribe to the report to start getting it; either way, the publication is chock-full of helpful information. For instance, a separate section analyzes the possible impact scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic on the metal AM industry in both 2020 and 2021, and new contributions from the worlds of standards and startups are included from ASTM and AM Ventures, respectively. The report includes in-depth market data, and has also added new databases with over 700 entries, so readers can browse through a list of material, service, and systems suppliers; the new interactive cost calculator has been updated with the most recent productivity values.

“We hope the AMPOWER Report 2020 continues to support our customers in making the right decisions in these challenging times,” AMPOWER’s Matthias Schmidt-Lehr, Dr. Maximilian Munsch, and Dr. Eric Wycisk wrote in an email.

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Equispheres Secures $30 Million in New Funding Round

Canadian materials science company Equispheres, which specializes in aluminum alloy powder for 3D printing, announced this week that it had secured a Series B investment, along with a new $30 million (CDN) investment round.

The funding round, at an undisclosed valuation, was led by HG Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a government-created foundation to advance clean technology innovation that’s supported the company in the past, and BDC, the only bank in Canada devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, also participated in the funding round, along with some undisclosed contributors.

Lead funding partner HG Ventures, which invests in and partners with companies working in sustainable technology and advanced materials, contributed $10 million in equity investment to this round of funding, while SDTC added an $8 million grant, which was first announced back in January. BDC contributed $5 million in subordinated financing, and the round was completed with $7 million in undisclosed funding.

Equipsheres’ Doug Brouse informed us that Jonathan Schalliol, VC and Director of HG Ventures, “mentioned on LinkedIn” that the company is a new investor in the additive manufacturing space, and it’s always great to bring new companies into this industry that are excited to be here.

“We are extremely excited to have HG Ventures as a partner, their extraordinary combination of research capability and venture capital experience made them an ideal partner to understand both the technical and market potential of our product across the transportation industry,” stated Kevin Nicholds, President and CEO of Equispheres, in a press release. “We are also grateful to have the support of the Canadian government, enabling us to leverage investor financing to achieve our objective of providing a high-quality product at volume levels the marketplace demands.”

Extreme magnification of Equispheres’ aluminum alloy powders for AM.

This isn’t the first time Equisheres has received major funding for its work in unique metal AM powders. The high performance, mono-sized metal powders it develops can help print parts that are up to 30% stronger and lighter than ones fabricated with other powders. In the last year alone, the company has released two important reports about testing results of its specialty materials, including how it performed in aerospace-ready AM quality tests. With this latest funding, Equispheres can continue testing its powders, and plans to scale up the production capacity, along with investing in research and development partnerships.

Equispheres will be using the funds to focus on several important areas, including creating high quality jobs and hiring and developing new talent, and improving reactors for lower cost and higher volume powder production. In addition, the company will ramp up its R&D projects with new and existing strategic partners, as well as work on creating application support services for the aviation, automotive, defense, and space industries in order to expedite advanced manufacturing opportunities that its metal powders make possible.

Equispheres stated in its press release that “more significant developments are expected on the horizon,” so we should stay tuned to hear what’s coming next.

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Velo3D Raises $28 Million in D Round

Metal 3D printing company Velo3D has just raised $28 million in a Series D funding round, making it a total of $138 million that the firm has raised so far. The D round was lead by Piva. Just recently the firm announced that it now has a 1m tall build volume metal printer with its first customer being found in oil and gas. On the most recent episode of the 3DPod, we delve deeper into that along with the customer and Velo3D team.

Sapphire

Velo3D CEO Benny Buller said:
“Customers in industries such as aerospace, oil & gas, and power generation are now able to achieve part quality for their mission-critical applications with performance levels that weren’t possible before with 3D metal printing.”
In the press release, the company stated that,
“VELO3D plans to use the new capital to expand its product portfolio to include more machine options, compatible alloys, and enhanced software and hardware capabilities. The company anticipates that the injection of fresh capital will help them reach sustainable profitability by mid-2022.”
Ricardo Angel, CEO of Piva stated,
“We have been impressed by Benny, the team and their breakthrough technology that will have a significant impact on the efficient design and manufacturing of more complex components, previously unattainable, with clear commercial traction already in the aerospace and aviation markets. VELO3D will lead a new wave of more resilient, distributed manufacturing capabilities for its most critical components, which the world will need to ensure local product availability and timeliness, while mitigating potential future worldwide disruptions.”
Velo3D has used software, FPGA’s and then hardware to improve DMLS/Powder Bed Fusion success rates and increase the number of geometries that can comfortably be made with little or no supports. We discuss the technology and its capabilities here with Velo3D’s Zach Murphee. The company is a real challenger to GE and EOS as well as other players such as SLM Solutions. This level of funding really supersizes Velo3D’s efforts in penetrating the market. The firm is up against some players with serious technological chops and large installed bases. The matchup in DMLS also pits very different firms and funding mechanisms against each other.
EOS is closely held an asset of the Langer family whose second-generation CEO Marie Langer recently told us “would never sell.” The Langer family has its sights set on a far off horizon. I once said, only half-jokingly, “no they won’t sell to Siemens, they want to be Siemens.” They are trying to cement EOS’ lead and burrow deep into applications with broad materials and industrial penetration and a focus on organizational design, sustainability, and stewardship. Meanwhile, GE is a large corporate, wounded sure, but still one of the mightiest and formidable engineering organizations on this earth. They are focusing on industrializing 3D printing for themselves in order to gain further entrenched advantages in aero engines and other units. GE’s commitment is sometimes questioned by those who could imagine the firm walking away from our industry. I do see them as capable of taking sanguine decisions but Additive is in one sense a rounding error for them but also a way for them to gain advantages in markets that they are strong while speeding up to go to market and saving costs. SLM is Parcom private equity-owned the firm is really making progress with new machine generations but still somehow seems hurting from being a hares breadth away from being acquired by GE years ago. They signed before it was killed by activist investor Elliott demanding more and GE bought Concept Laser instead which was a huge misread by Elliott because they should have realized that what GE needed most was Arcam. There was no alternative for Arcam EBM patent cover but there was for DMLS patent cover. SLM did have a big win when manufacturing leader Beam IT bought 15 systems recently though. Other firms such as precision measurement firm Renishaw is making more credible machines now but still seems a bit behind in the new generation of automated higher productivity machines. 3D Systems is trying to partner in order to deliver post-processing and workflows. DMG Mori and other entrants are gearing up, as is Trumpf. Additive Industries is a startup with a long view, vision, and breadth but this kind of Velo3D investment thing could make them think of tie-up possibilities due to comparative scale even though their series focused machine is very much where the market is headed.
With investor attention long focused on binder jet, this will put the spotlight on DMLS 3D printing once again for the Silicon Valley set; and now for higher value parts manufacturing in aerospace, oil and gas, and the like. The hope of binder jet is now replaced by the higher cost reality of DMLS. This is a great development for our industry and a huge win for Benny and the team.

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Sciperio Partnering with Multiple Research Companies to Make Human Blood On Demand for Military

Funded by the US Defense Health Program, 4-Dimensional Bioprinting, Biofabrication, and Biomanufacturing (4D Bio3) is a collaboration between the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and The Geneva Foundation, a nonprofit that advances military medical research. The program promotes the application and development of biofabrication, biomanufacturing, and bioprinting technologies for research according to priorities by the US Department of Defense. 4D Bio3 is involved with medical research in outer space, and also much closer to home.

4D Bio3 is currently working with the foundation, Safi Biosolutions, Advanced Bioprocess Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Sciperio – the research arm of Florida 3D printing company nScrypt – to make human blood on demand. Yes, you read that correctly.

Through USUHS, the DoD and The Geneva Foundation set up the 4D Bio3 On-Demand Blood Program in order to provide access to fresh, non-contaminated blood supplies for military service members all over the world. The goal of this current partnership with Sciperio is to create solutions for future blood supply, and on-demand manufacturing of human blood seems to be the best way.

Together with Safi Biosolutions, the company received a joint award of $8.8 million to fund any contributions they make to the program in its first year. The overall goal for the program’s inaugural year is to create a “whole blood development roadmap,” and Sciperio’s part will be to develop a rugged, automated bioreactor that offers control and feedback in real-time thanks to multiple sensors. Sciperio spinoff nScrypt, which designs and manufactures highly precise, next-generation, award-winning microdispensing and 3D printing for industrial applications, will be building the bioreactor.

“How do you manufacture blood at a scale relevant for patient use?  We are using several nScrypt SmartPump tool heads to precisely microdispense growth enhancers in the bioreactor, causing cell expansion and differentiation. The bioreactor makes it scalable,” explained Dr. Ken Church, the CEO of both Sciperio and nScrypt. “There are so many interesting aspects and advantages of biomanufacturing blood, including the ultimate benefit to humanity. Starting with a few cells, our bioreactor will produce billions of cells, a necessary requirement for patient transfusion. We believe this exciting project will one day result in a steady source of safe and affordable on-demand blood made where and when it’s needed.”

The nScrypt SmartPump microdispensing tool head works with over 10,000 commercially available materials – the widest range of any microdispensing system. The SmartPump “eliminates drooling with pico-liter volumetric control,” according to nScrypt, and at just 10 microns, its pen tip has the smallest available diameter on the commercial market.

If this project succeeds, and the team is able to additively manufacture human red blood cells on-site that are safe for human transfusion, there will be less need for concern relating to donor blood screening. The solution could mean that extensive donor networks are not as necessary, which can help streamline logistics in terms of blood transportation, processing, and long-term storage. This would be especially helpful for members of the military stationed in remote areas who can’t easily access these services.

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(Images provided by nScrypt)

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Equispheres Receives $8 Million from SDTC to Scale Metal 3D Printing Powder Production

Canadian materials science company Equispheres has just announced that it’s received support, and $8 million in funding, from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), which it will use to help scale its metal 3D printing powder production capacity over the next two years.

The SDTC foundation was created by the Government of Canada in order to advance clean technology innovation across the country by funding and supporting entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises that are working to develop, demonstrate, and deploy “globally competitive” clean technology solutions.

SDTC believes that Equispheres’ aluminum alloy powder, which was specifically designed for additive manufacturing and optimized for applications in both the aerospace and automotive industries, can help bring about real-world change.

“Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future,” stated Leah Lawrence, the President and CEO of SDTC. “Equipsheres as developed a metal powder that acts as ink for 3D printing and enables automotive and aerospace manufacturers to reduce the weight of their products. With Equispheres’ powder set to remove 100 – 200 kg of mass from an automobile, this would be the equivalent to removing 75 million cars off the road!”

Scanning Electron Microscope photo of Equispheres novel powder.

Aerospace and automotive manufacturers alike have the same mission to reduce their products’ carbon footprint, and weight optimization is key. While 3D printing has certainly been used in these industries many times before, it was not always possible to achieve mass production scale with aluminum alloy powders, which is what Equipsheres specializes in. According to a company press release, these materials also “account for a significant amount of the material demand” in both industries, so a powder that can make stronger, more lightweight parts in a more efficient way is hugely important.

Equispheres provides high performance, mono-sized metal powders, which can fabricate parts that are up to 30% stronger and lighter than those made with other AM powders. In addition to more efficient production, part performance has also been positively impacted with these powders – the release states that the company’s AM powder is anticipated to improve fuel efficiency by over 10% in the automotive industry, was “proven exceptional” in tests run by McGill University, and outperformed in aerospace-ready quality tests.

Equisheres has received major funding for its work in AM powders before, but the timing of this particular award from SDTC “aligns well with other initiatives” the company has been working on in regards to offering a clean technology solution in the aerospace and automotive fields. For example, it put together a consortium that includes a top aerospace company and leading automotive manufacturer in order to use the weight optimization potential of the AM powder to its advantage in order to reduce vehicle weight. But this new funding support from SDTC will allow Equispheres to work with even more partners in the aerospace and automotive industries to “help them realize the benefits of more efficient production and reduced emissions.”

Equispheres CEO, Kevin Nicholds

“We are excited to receive this funding award from the SDTC Foundation. This support from SDTC speaks to the importance of our powder technology as a key to achieving significant emissions reductions in the automotive sector,” said Equispheres CEO Kevin Nicholds. “The funding from SDTC will help Equispheres to continue to accelerate our production capacity and support this important work by our automotive partners.”

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Link3D Completes Funding Round of $7 Million Led by Al Capital

Headquartered in Boulder, CO, Link3D is well-known for their Additive MES workflow software. Now, they have announced the completion of a $7 million round of venture capital funding led by enterprise applied AI-focused venture capital firm AI Capital.

With substantial new financial resources behind them and continuing to help forge future innovation for industrial users, it is expected that their presence will continue to grow around the globe, including in North America, Europe, and Japan. Link3D plans to create innovations that will complement their flagship products, integrating:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Workflow automation technology

All of their technology is meant to increase efficiency and production with the following:

  • Capacity management
  • Dynamic scheduling
  • Predictive QMS solutions

“With this funding round, Link3D will continue to scale and grow operations in North America, Europe, and Japan by expanding our sales and customer support,” said Shane Fox, the Co-Founder and CEO of Link3D. “The funding will also aid in our R&D efforts to introduce workflow automation and artificial intelligence within the additive manufacturing production environment. These developments will help organizations around the world unlock the true benefits of industrial manufacturing.”

Currently, the additive manufacturing markets in North America, Europe, and Japan are expected to grow at a staggering rate: from $2.4 billion to $7.7 billion, $1.8 billion to $7.2 billion, and $1 billion to $5.6 billion, respectively—all in the next five years. These numbers were produced via analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Additive MES workflow software is meant to help other companies adopt additive manufacturing processes as many of them may have a large transformative process to adapt to while integrating new technology. The software is expected to be useful in applications such as aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer, medical, and oil and gas.

“Link3D is a key player in providing MES and workflow solutions to leading businesses worldwide, making it a valuable addition to our growth-stage enterprise applied AI investment portfolio,” said Neville Teagarden, Managing Partner of AI Capital. “This successful round of funding is a testament to the strong impact Link3D has made thus far, and the confidence it has inspired throughout the industry.”

Like many of the other technology companies scattered throughout the state of Colorado, Link3D is extremely progressive in their innovation and expansion, offering new products to users who are eager to embrace the benefits of 3D printing. This unique and dynamic business has stayed busy creating proof of concepts, refining workflow for greater speed in recent R&D projects, facilitating biomedical work, and much more. Undoubtedly, they will continue on a path to success—and one for their users—with this latest round of funding and infusion of cash. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Link3D]

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3D Factory Incubator: The High Technology Business Incubator for 3D Printing

A unique initiative in Europe to boost innovative projects based on additive manufacturing

Innovation, technological development, and human value are the three pillars of Europe’s first high-tech 3D printing incubator. The 3DFactory Incubator is an initiative led by the Barcelona Consorci de la Zona Franca and the Fundación Leitat, whose goal is to promote the best initiatives related to 3D printing through the creation of a unique space and the provision of 3D production services, business consulting, marketing activities and testing services.

The call is open to all types of innovative projects that include 3D printing as one of the basic types of technology for the development of the product or business concept. These initiatives will be pursued for either six months or a year, both of which may be extended.

“Thanks to the 3D Factory Incubator, we have the chance to make use of its 3D printing services with the most advanced technology and specialised technical support,” says Monica Debat from Mondenel, one of the first companies to develop their project at the 3D Factory Incubator.

The aim is to incubate around 100 initiatives throughout the life of the project, approximately 25 per year. To date, after only three months of operations, there are already some twenty incubated initiatives. This incubator, the only one in Europe, offers incubated projects a unique and modern space with a large coworking area, meeting rooms, private offices, a rest and dining area, a terrace and an open-plan training area.

Josep Mateo, CEO of Liq Eyewear, describes the experience of these first few months: “Coming to the 3D Factory has been a boost; an incredible opportunity to have access to technology, to machines that it would otherwise take much longer to access. We have it all in one building: machines, incredible technology, advice… The treatment we’ve received has been excellent! We believe that it will be a great opportunity and a great boost that we want to make the most of.”

The facilities, located at the headquarters of the ‘Consorci de la Zona Franca, with a total area of 600m², have laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art 3D printing machinery: 6 different types of technology (4 industrial 3D printers – MJ, FDM and MJF – and 3 mini printers – FDM, SLA and SLS); post processing and quality control equipment; design software; and the advice of technical staff, experienced not only in the field of printing, but also in internationalisation, marketing and innovation, among others.

All these resources have a clear objective: to grow an innovative project from its earliest stages.

Alan Alves, Director of 3D Digital Factory, explains that, “For me, the most attractive thing about the incubator is the human value and the ecosystem that has been created. To have within my reach the services provided by all the professionals and to be able to move my office to its facilities in the industrial heart of Barcelona with the latest 3D printing technology.” He stresses: “I can’t think of a more favourable environment for implementing my business project.”

The opening of the 3D Factory Incubator is the first step towards establishing Barcelona as a hub for innovation in southern Europe’s Industry 4.0. After more than 10 years of development, 3D printing technology has acquired a point of maturity that allows the technology to be scaled for introduction into different sectors of industry, such as prototyping and industrial engineering, as well as for the manufacture of the final product. Additive manufacturing offers multiple advantages that new generations of entrepreneurs and start-ups have recognised and, with this in mind, have incorporated it into their business concept.

Both the incubator, which has received ERDF funds through the INCYDE Foundation, and initiatives such as the IAM 3D HUB, encourage the adoption of additive manufacturing and are helping to broaden its use in Europe’s business sector.

The boost from this technology will bring about a genuine industrial revolution and will not only change the concept of production, but will also extend the limits of innovation and technological development in industry and society as we know it.

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Voxel8 Announces Series B Funding Round to Advance Its Multi-Material Digital Fabrication

Massachusetts-based Voxel8 was co-founded in 2014 by an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers from Harvard University, led by Dr. Jennifer Lewis. The company is working to develop digital manufacturing systems that will change up how we design, manufacture, and sell footwear and athletic apparel around the world.

Not long ago, the company introduced its multi-material ActiveLab Digital Fabrication System, which allows for the product development, wear testing, and production runs of high-performance athletic shoe uppers, in addition to other textiles. It’s designer-friendly, enabling automation and customization with zero tooling costs. The system uses ActiveMix extrusion technology to build 3D structures and thick films with variable cross sections directly on to textiles.

The 600 kg printer, with a 600 x 430 mm build platform, allows users to digitally design and fabricate shoe uppers, and is transforming how we develop and manufacture footwear and athletic apparel today. The system offers shorter manufacturing reorder lead times, significantly reduced design cycle times, and much lower costs for freight, labor, tariffs, and tooling. This gives customers the ability to design shoes, and other textile products, that include structural features and complex designs with little extra cost – affording them the opportunity to set up manufacturing facilities that are located closer to major end-user markets, like Europe and North America, and respond much faster to consumer demand.

Voxel8 seems to be doing pretty well for itself, and has just announced a Series B investment funding round, which was led by DSM Venturing – the venture investment arm of Royal DSM.

“Voxel8 is an excellent addition to our portfolio. Its multi-materials digital manufacturing platform is poised to dramatically impact the footwear and the sports apparel markets, strategic to DSM,” stated Pieter Wolters, Managing Director for DSM Venturing.

Additional participants in this round of Series B funding include HP Tech Ventures, as well as ARCH Venture Partners and Braemar Energy Ventures – two of Voxel8’s existing investors.

“Voxel8 is uniquely differentiated as a leader in multi-material digital manufacturing, which we believe will meaningfully expand the realm of possibilities for digitally manufacturing a wide range of products. Within the athletic footwear market alone, over 2.5 billion pairs of athletic shoes are manufactured globally each year,” said Jiong Ma, Braemar Energy Ventures. “Voxel8 is well-poised to capture substantial market share in athletic shoe upper manufacturing and, more broadly, medical and smart textiles.”

The company will use the funding to continue advancing its multi-material digital manufacturing.

“Our digital manufacturing systems are revolutionizing how footwear and athletic apparel is designed, manufactured, and sold to consumers across the globe,” said Travis Busbee, the CEO and co-founder of Voxel8. “We are excited to work with this team of world-class and experienced investors. Their global reach, expertise, and funding will accelerate the rapid adoption of Voxel8’s technology for high-volume production of athletic footwear and apparel.”

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[Images: Voxel8]

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Singapore: Structo3D Completes Funding Round with EDBI

Global dental 3D printing solutions provider Structo, headquartered in Singapore, has just announced the completion of a funding round with EDBI, a global investor from Singapore. These latest funds will be used to continue their journey in advancing additive manufacturing within the dental industry.

The founders of Structo

Founded in 2014, Structo has been on a mission to revolutionize dentistry and they will push forward to encourage mass production of dental solutions that are specific to patients—embracing one of the most important benefits of 3D printing, along with greater affordability, speed in production, and often too, the ability to cut out the middleman and make products and devices onsite.

“Structo is a great example of how an idea born in our local university can reach the global market with government-linked and private investors working closely together to provide funding at different stages of its growth. Such support is especially important in nurturing deep tech start-ups and ensuring a vibrant innovation ecosystem in Singapore,” says Chu Swee Yeok, CEO & President of EDBI.

Born out of a project at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Structo is now an international leader—and unique as a worldwide company that focuses only on dental solutions, with 3D printers being used by customers on five continents, responsible for manufacturing thousands of dental appliances each month.

Other investors include GGV Capitol (Silicon Valley and China) and Wavemaker Partners (Los Angeles and Singapore), allowing Structo to expand further, also maintaining a presence in the US, Canada, and the UK.

“The recent rise in consumer demand for clear aligners, an orthodontic appliance that can only be produced through additive manufacturing has accelerated the demand for more novel and customized solutions,” says Huub van Esbroeck, co-Founder and CEO of Structo. “At Structo, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all solution for any specific end-use, in particular for an industry that is as diverse in size and requirements as dental.”

Structo builds dental 3D printers using their proprietary mask stereolithography (MSLA) technology, allowing them to fabricate products at higher speeds, along with ‘revolutionizing the field of digital denistry’ and offering greater affordability while keeping the same level of quality.

“Partners such as EDBI have been instrumental in getting Structo to where it needs to be,” explains Huub. “EDBI’s support has allowed our team to develop capabilities in Singapore in engineering, product development, material sciences and manufacturing. By leveraging EBDI’s strategic industry partners, investor community and network of talent, we were able to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing. EDBI’s investment in our company is a testament to the successes our team has achieved in a short period of time.

“It will help us continue to fulfill the dental industry’s need for novel solutions for mass customization through digital manufacturing. It will help us continue to fulfill the dental industry’s need for novel solutions for mass customization through digital manufacturing.”

3D printing has made an undeniable impact in the dental and orthodontics world, with a variety of materials, hardware, and software not available to both labs and clinicians. From improved implants to better accuracy in 3D printed dental models and bigger and better dental 3D printers.

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[Source / Images: Structo]

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