Seurat Technologies announced a truly massive funding raise from a set of very intriguing investors.
Seurat is a rapidly growing company that has developed a unique metal 3D printing process they call “Area Printing”.
Area Printing is similar but different from the typical LPBF setup. In an LBPF 3D printer, a laser (or sometimes more) will tediously sweep across a bed of metal powder, selectively fusing regions. After many layers, a fully solid metal object will have been produced.
The issue with LPBF is that it’s quite a slow process. Some manufacturers have attempted to speed up printing by adding more lasers, but that gets increasingly expensive.
Seurat solves this dilemma with Area Printing, in which a single powerful laser beam is optically split into an “area” currently around 100mm square. This area is bumped along the print surface, quickly sintering the powder. The company has some 275 patents granted and in process related to the technology.
Seurat believes they can scale up the system to allow for printing of 1700kg of material per hour. Yes, per HOUR! That’s an industrial-scale process that could dramatically change how metal production takes place. Even better, their system is powered entirely by green energy, unlike traditional metal production approaches.
Founder and CEO James DeMuth explained:
“Our mission is to create a green manufacturing industry. With our additive manufacturing technology, our print factories will provide our customers with clean manufacturing that can compete with the volumes, quality, and price points of traditional manufacturing. This new funding will enable Seurat to unlock our next phase of growth, deploy our new machines and scale our factory capacity to meet current demands.”
Their pilot factory near Boston has been “oversubscribed” with initial customers, and they have letters of intent from six customers for US$750M of business for the next few years.
You can understand why investors would be intensely interested in Seurat. So far, the company has raised a massive US$74M from investors, enabling the company to continue developing their system.
Now we find they’ve completed another raise, this time much larger at US$99M.
That cash will allow the company to no doubt expand their production capacity and take on more clients.
What’s also interesting is the set of investors in this round, which was led by NVentures, which is NVIDIA’s investment arm. They include:
- Honda Innovations,
- Cubit Capital
- True Ventures
- SIP Global Partners
- Porsche Automobil Holding SE
- Denso Global
- General Motors Ventures
- Maniv Mobility LP
- Xerox Ventures
Two automotive companies are in the mix, and it’s clear they have intentions of using Seurat’s technology to build cars, or at the very least extensively test doing so.
Metal is a critical component of any automobile, and making cars more efficient could be possible with radical geometries made possible with 3D printing processes. It may be that the automobile companies hope to develop lightweight metal components that would contribute to the efficiency of future electric vehicles.
With this latest investment round, it would seem that Seurat joins a select few 3D print companies that have raised substantial amounts of cash, along with Carbon, Desktop Metal, Formlabs and a few others.