Adaptive3D secures Arkema-led Series B funding to scale up production of printable photo-resins

3D printing resin supplier Adaptive3D has obtained Series B financing from a syndicate led by French advanced materials company Arkema Group. Also backing the investment is West Pharmaceutical Services, a global manufacturer of containment and delivery systems for injectable medicines, along with venture capital firm Clear Fir Partners, and current investors Applied Ventures, and the founding family of semiconductor manufacturing firm Texas Instruments.

Although full terms of the deal and the funds exchanged remain undisclosed, Adaptive3D intends to ramp up the production of its photopolymer resins used in the manufacture of tough and tear-resistant rubbers.

“Challenging the aging model of injection-molded rubbers and polyurethanes, Adaptive3D is now scaling production and distribution to deliver shelf-stable, print-stable, on-part photoresins that yield superior, manufactured end parts,” said Walter Voit, president, and CEO of Adaptive3D. “Our resins enable customers to topologically optimize and micro-architect their polymeric products to provide a sustainable competitive advantage now.”

Walter Voit, PhD, and CEO of Adaptive3D. Photo via Adaptive3D
Walter Voit, Ph.D., and CEO of Adaptive3D. Photo via Adaptive3D

Adaptive3D’s photopolymer resins

Founded in 2014 with the help of a grant by the National Science Foundation, Adaptive3D produces specialty polymer resins for additive manufacturing. The company specializes in printing and processing rubber-like materials, tough damping materials, and low-cure stress photopolymers.

One of the first materials that Adaptive3D introduced on the market was Damping ToughRubber, showcased at RAPID + TCT 2018, a rubber-like material which the company deemed to be the “world’s highest strain photopolymer” at the time.

At last year’s RAPID + TCT show, Adaptive3D introduced its Soft ToughRubber material suitable for applications such as wearables, textiles, electronics, as well as specialist uses like anatomical models. Shortly after, the firm partnered with Dutch nutrition and materials multinational, DSM, to commercialize the material.

DSM Venturing, the investment arm of DSM, had previously led a Series A financing round for Adaptive3D, with which the firm hoped to expand its global reach within industrial consumer, healthcare, transportation, and oil and gas sectors.

Most recently, Adaptive3D partnered with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Rapid Prototyping Consortium (RPC), to deliver Elastic ToughRubber 90, a premium high-strain photopolymer for additive manufacturing. The collaboration enabled RPC’s partner companies to develop and produce flexible parts and products suitable for use year-round.

ToughRubberTM 30.450. Photo via Adaptive3D
ToughRubberTM 30.450. Photo via Adaptive3D

Series B financing

According to Adaptive3D, Arkema and West Pharmaceutical Services “exemplify the potential end points” of a total 3D printing ecosystem, spanning the development of new materials, scaled resin manufacturing, and functional end-use parts. It is Adaptive3D’s goal to facilitate high volume additive manufacturing through scaling up the delivery of its polymer resin range to a variety of industries.

Arkema Group is structured into three segments, Adhesive Solutions, Advanced Materials, and Coating Solutions. The Group develops new materials to meet global challenges to sustainability, such as new energies, new technologies, depletion of resources, and mobility. According to Sumeet Jain, senior director of 3D Printing Worldwide at Arkema, the partnership between the company and Adaptive3D is a positive development for the wider 3D printing sector.

“Adaptive3D photoresins, based on Arkema materials and now validated in the market, further our customer-focused mission to reach into new application spaces with 21st century materials,” he said. “Adaptive3D delivers compelling material properties with an ease of printing and post-processing – a great step forward for the whole additive manufacturing field.”

Meanwhile, West Pharmaceutical’s involvement in the Series B funding round signals the potential for Adaptive3D’s photopolymer resins within the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

“At West, we see the potential of additive manufacturing to create differentiated, novel components and solutions for the healthcare sector,” said Scott Young, VP research innovation and technology at West Pharmaceutical Services. “We understand well the challenges of commercializing new materials for the pharmaceutical packaging space, from innovation to validation to manufacturing at scale.

“We are impressed with the science and expertise at Adaptive3D. We are excited about their current and future engineered photoresins and look forward to working with Adaptive3D to push forward the technology boundaries of pharmaceutical packaging services.”

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Featured image shows Adaptive3D has obtained Series B financing from a syndicate led by French advanced materials company Arkema Group. Image via Adaptive3D.