$10M Investment Fortifies Fortify
Fortify has announced a successful Series A round, raising $10 million.
The Boston-based 3D printing startup is now looking to further advance its Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) platform and Fluxprint technology through team growth and the launch of its Discovery Partner Program.
“Essentially what we’re doing is the highest-resolution composite system to date,” CEO Dr. Josh Martin has told us of their solution, bringing DLP to scale. “We’re changing the way we think about materials that can be used on a DLP system, like carbon fiber-reinforced, and creating the ability to realign these for additive within a high-resolution matrix.”
Their work brings together DLP 3D printing and magnetics quite cleverly, building on Martin and Dr. Randy Erb's research at Northeastern University.
The company announced $2.5 million seed funding early this year, and is now looking toward significant growth with its Series A.
Martin had suggested that we could expect news about the latest funding round when we caught up with the team at RAPID + TCT this spring, and this week the team have shared the news of the round.
The Series A round totals $10 million and is led by Accel, with Neotribe, Prelude Ventures, and Mainspring Capital Partners also participating.
"Now more than ever before, it's vital that the U.S. economy has a strong manufacturing ecosystem," said Eric Wolford, venture partner at Accel. “Fortify is uniquely positioned to help lead the resurgence of American manufacturing by using tech to produce best-in-class parts for the digital age. We're thrilled to support the entire Fortify team as they continue to set a new standard in manufacturing."
Strong 3D Printing
Fortify’s contributions to manufacturing will be based on the company’s high-strength offerings.
Their Fluxprint process essentially aligns fibers throughout composite parts, allowing for finely tuned reinforcement. Applications are many — really anyone who’s looking for a high-strength part which, unsurprisingly, is a lot of people. Aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare — and more in development, including end-use parts created in conjunction with partners creating electrical connectors, impellers, mixers, and specialty drones.
Materials partners in the Fortify Fiber Platform, like the well-known DSM and BASF, are important collaborators in developing the right mixes to create high-performance resins.
“Material properties are the dominant factor driving adoption of Additive Manufacturing across industries,'' said Ben Arnold, Fortify VP of Business Development. “Our open materials platform leverages the world’s leading polymer chemists as they continually innovate. We reinforce these base resin with fiber as we print to gain significantly higher levels of performance. It’s quite exciting that even in this early stage of the company, we have customers buying parts for use in production applications.”
With a foundation carefully laid, the $10M funding will help Fortify build toward its next advances.
Over the last year, the company has already doubled their team — and that’s set to continue growing. No specific numbers have been laid out, but the investment announcement notes that “Fortify will add several team members.” New office space has also been established, and the new team members will join in as relocation moves operations to the Hood office park area in Charlestown.
Importantly, Fortify is also introducing a new partner program. They explain:
“Fortify’s Discovery Partner Program will give select customers early access to the DCM platform. Fortify’s technology focus is initially on injection mold tooling for quick turn, lower volume runs and high performance end use parts. While these applications are not necessarily ‘new’ to industry watchers, early Fortify users are reporting dramatic (10-100X) improvements over trials with other 3D printed mold tools. Fortify is supplying molds now to support customer applications and will ship beta machines to select partners in early 2020.”
Early access is helpful to both partners and to the company itself as beta installations allow for close work in tweaking to establish production-ready parameters — and as early users gain the advantage of working ahead of the market.