Business

AMT raises £2.5 million to unlock “full potential” of AM post-processing

UK-based post-processing specialist Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) has closed a £2.5 million funding round, bringing the total amount raised by the company to more than £7 million. 

The funding round was led by NPIF-Mercia Equity Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and managed by asset management firm Mercia. Contributions were also received from Foresight Williams Technology, the UK government’s Future Fund, DSM Venturing, the investment arm of Royal DSM, and other private investors. 

The funding announcement follows AMT’s recently agreed partnership with multinational printing firm HP to provide end-to-end post-processing services for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) printing technologies to its industrial customers.

“Our mission is to be the world’s first-choice application-centric provider of end-to-end industrialized automated post-processing systems,” said Joseph Crabtree, CEO of AMT. “This latest investment will help us to unlock the full potential of industrial additive manufacturing and its sustainable impact.”

AMT founder Joseph Crabtree, left, with Will Clark of Mercia
AMT founder Joseph Crabtree, left, with Will Clark of Mercia. Photo via AMT.

Automated post-processing

AMT was founded in 2017 by Crabtree and based on technology developed at the University of Sheffield. Since launching its PostPro3D system in 2018, AMT has entered into multiple collaborations with firms active across the 3D printing sector to develop new applications for its post-processing technology.

AMT’s PostPro technology is a patented, fully-automated chemical vapor smoothing process for 3D printed parts, that can deliver significant cost savings to manufacturers by replacing manual post-processing steps. The process smoothes over layer lines that are present on 3D printed parts in order to make them resemble injection molded parts, by blasting parts suspended in a chamber with a highly-potent solvent to remove porosities and surface imperfections.

In 2019, the firm launched its Digital Manufacturing System (DMS) at Formnext to provide an automated and digital solution for the entire manufacturing workflow. The following year, AMT partnered with blasting equipment manufacturer, Leering Hengelo, to launch two new de-powdering systems for 3D printed parts. The PostProDP and the larger-capacity PostProDP Pro are designed to automatically clean excess powder off laser powder bed fused parts.

In July 2020, AMT received patent protection in the UK for its chemical vapor smoothing technology, covering the firm’s portfolio of machines in the PostPro3D series, and revealed how its collaboration with the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) had created new food-contact applications for its post-processing systems. 

3D printed part before and after applying AMT's chemical vapor smoothing system. Image via HP.
3D printed part before and after applying AMT’s chemical vapor smoothing system. Image via HP.

Investment for growth

The company’s latest partnership with HP will see AMT provide HP’s MJF customers across the automotive, industrial, medical, and sporting goods sectors with post-processing services. The partners have already started working with customers to develop new applications requiring an injection molding-like finish, such as 3D High Reusability PA 11 nasopharyngeal swabs developed to aid in combating Covid-19, and custom seating made from BASF Ultrasint TPU01 lattice structures.

AMT reportedly doubled its revenue year-on-year in 2020, and now employs more than 80 staff across its Sheffield headquarters, its manufacturing facility in Hungary, and offices in Texas. The firm secured a £750,000 investment from NPIF in February 2019, shortly followed by a further £4.2 million in Series A funding led by DSM Venturing and Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund. 

Proceeds from the latest £2.5 million funding round, which brings the total amount raised by AMT to £7 million, will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and product development plans for the industrial 3D printing sector. 

“AMT’s technology is accelerating the adoption of 3D printing and transforming manufacturing in many industries,” said Nigel Owens of Mercia. “The company has gone from strength to strength and the recent HP partnership deal is another major milestone, as it represents acceptance of its technology at the highest level.

“The latest funding is allowing AMT to capitalize on its successes and continue its rapid growth.”

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Featured image shows AMT founder Joseph Crabtree, left, with Will Clark of Mercia. Photo via AMT.

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