Freeform Injection Molding company AddiFab has announced a $6.3 million investment round and an expansive new headquarters.
Freeform Injection Molding
We’ve been following the AddiFab story since the company emerged from stealth two years ago with a promising tech take. Freeform Injection Molding (FIM) brings together some of the most appealing benefits of 3D printing (e.g., complex geometries, customization) and injection molding (i.e., mass production). Scalable, complex parts created with a truly broad material selection has proven itself: this is something industry wants.
The FIM process is relatively straightforward:
- A 3D model of a desired object is created
- A negative of the 3D model is created — a mold
- The mold is 3D printed using the special AddiFab resin
- The print is then placed in an injection molding machine and hot thermoplastic is pressed into the cavities of the print
- The print/injection combo is placed in a special undescribed solution, where the print dissolves, leaving the completed injection molded part
Previously, AddiFab had raised a significant (but not quantified) investment from Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC)’s US venture capital arm, Diamond Edge Ventures (DEV). That investment further strengthened the working relationship between AddiFab and Mitsubishi. Last year, AddiFab also announced a strategic partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM) that brings FIM services to the market.
MCAM is among the entities excited about the future of FIM — and that future is even more exciting now as today the company announces a major investment in an oversubscribed (“by a factor of 2”) round. The $6.3 million (4.5 million GBP) round was led by West Hill Capital — and completed in just 48 hours.
The investment is set to fuel a notable strengthening in AddiFab’s offerings. This starts with the global availability of the technology, as FIM-as-a-service will be set to expand. First launched for the US, EU, and Japan, AddiFab now says they are “dedicated to further strengthening the presence and momentum of FIM in these and other markets.”
“AddiFab’s Freeform Injection Molding is already the flagship technology featured in MCAM’s global rapid prototyping service,” said MCAM Chief Innovation Officer Randy White. “This investment allows the best prototyping technology in the industry to get even better with faster processing times and added capability to mold larger parts.”
We’ll also be hearing more about all that FIM can do. AddiFab notes several major industries that have put the unique tech to use over the last year and a half, including:
- Medical Devices
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Consumer Electronics
- Personalized Prostheses
- Critical Utility Infrastructure
Of these application areas, AddiFab notes:
“FIM has demonstrated strong capabilities in on-demand low-volume injection molding. And Freeform Injection Molding is emerging as the gateway to prototyping applications for recycled materials and other materials that are not otherwise 3D-printable”
Finally, the company is moving! More business necessitates more space to do business, and so AddiFab “has relocated to new and significantly larger facilities.” The new HQ is more than twice the size of the previous location. The expansion is for good reason, as the company explains:
“The goal is to rapidly triple the number of systems that can be produced, while at the same time dramatically increasing the number of customer evaluation projects that can be carried out.”
Co-Founder and CEO Lasse Staal expands further on the purpose of the floor space location:
“The new headquarters allow us to take this support to an entirely different level. Whether it be extensive feasibility studies, on-site R&D projects or deliveries of larger FIM system packages, we will be able to accommodate customer ambitions”.
AddiFab is certainly growing up. Even as their capabilities scale down (in terms of actually smaller-scale projects, as a little part work makes a big impact), Freeform Injection Molding is scaling up!