Of the developing 3D printing trends we identified back in January, the use of stronger, more durable, engineering grade thermoplastics is one that has hit the ground running in 2017.

Already this week we’ve seen Russia’s Anisoprint demonstrating their continuous fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite material 3D printer at the Skolkovo Technopark.

3D printing with carbon fiber and composites

Today we have news that AREVO Inc., a Santa Clara, California based 3D printing company, has closed a deal with In-Q-Tel (IQT). AREVO’s 3D printing solution is focused on the creation of, “ultra strong and lightweight composite parts to replace metal parts for production applications.

IQT was established in 1999 “to identify and partner with startup companies developing innovative technologies that protect and preserve our nation’s security.” IQT is a “non-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to U.S. government agencies that keep our nation safe.”  

The strategic – and undisclosed figure – investment from IQT will “drive development of AREVO’s Composite Additive Manufacturing Technology for the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

A small sample of other companies in the IQT portfolio.

A small sample of other companies in the IQT portfolio.

AREVO machines produce 3D printed carbon fiber composite parts (CFCP) that are “enabling disruptive applications in Robotics, Transportation, Consumer Electronics, and Aerospace Industries.” The company also have the splendid tagline, “The revolution will be printed™.”

The 3D printing revolution will not be televised

To achieve their revolutionary goal the U.S. company addresses each area of the 3D printing trifecta – machines, materials and software. AREVO has “proprietary True 3D™ algorithms optimize fiber placement in true 3D orientations to derive the ultimate strength.” The additive manufacturer also, “tailors materials to optimize mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of printed objects.” And finally AREVO offers scalable 3D printing equipment to meet the needs of their users.

In 2016  AREVO won the AUTODESK REAL Deal Startup Competition and we’ve been following the company since early 2015 when they first announced a range of industrial composite material solutions and a Robot-based Additive Manufacturing (RAM) platformIn June 2016 AREVO announced a $7M Series A funding round led by Khosla Ventures had successfully closed.

Since then news from the company has been sparse and with the IQT deal focusing on defense applications this may remain the case.

The IQT process. Infographic via IQT.

The IQT process. Infographic via IQT.

Katie Gray, Investments Partner at IQT tells us, “Arevo’s additive manufacturing technology delivers complex parts with a unique value proposition which cannot be made with any conventional or other additive manufacturing techniques.” Gray adds, “Our partnership with Arevo will enable IQT’s customers to stay ahead of the curve in developing new devices critical to our nation’s security.”

Hemant Bheda, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AREVO, as has a few words about the deal saying, Partnering with IQT in this manner is a great vote of confidence in our design and composite manufacturing process methods.” The AREVO CEO explains, We have made steady progress over the past year in defense applications and we believe our work with IQT will open more doors for us.

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Featured image shows AREVO 3D printed tensile test dog-bones.

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