Illinois-based 3D printer manufacturer Azul 3D has successfully secured $15 million in a Series A funding round, with contributions from both its existing investors and new backers.
Global investment sources, including electronics giant DuPont, a leading contributor to the Series A funding, have invested in the company. Additional investors from the EMEA and Asia regions, like Beta Lab and GS Futures, have joined this financing effort. The funds are instrumental in advancing technology development for high-value applications and expanding production in target markets. These markets include the manufacturing of specialized electronic components and custom devices that can leverage Azul 3D’s High-Area Rapid Printing (HARP) technology. HARP, a proprietary vat polymerization, uses UV light to create precise, thermally controlled objects with superior material properties from liquid plastic.
“We are very excited about the potential of this technology to create new business opportunities with DuPont,” said Randal King, Vice President, of Technology, DuPont Electronics & Industrial. “Our investment underscores our strong belief that Azul 3D and its HARP technology can truly create a new paradigm in manufacturing.”
Reflecting on Azul 3D’s journey in 3D printing
In the funding round, Azul 3D received backing from John Hartner, who took the CEO role in June 2023. Hartner, the former CEO of 3D printing company ExOne, boasts a 30-year track record in leading technology companies globally, spanning automation, electronics, cleantech, and digital printing industries. Since 2020, he’s been an early investor and a board member at Azul 3D.
Additionally, as its newest board member, Azul 3D welcomed G. Walter “Wally” Loewenbaum, the Former Chairman of 3D Systems and Founder of Rocky Point Ventures. “This is the most exciting I have been about photopolymer 3D printing in a long time,” Loewenbaum said. “With this technology, we have the potential to capture high-value markets and enable innovative new products. I’m excited to be a part of Azul 3D as it enters this next phase.”
In 2020, Azul 3D partnered with DuPont to introduce advanced 3D printing technologies into the electronic materials industry. This exclusive agreement involved Azul 3D using its HARP technology to expand 3D printing into previously untapped applications. The collaboration, led by Azul 3D’s Co-founder and Chair, Chad Mirkin, had the potential to fully leverage HARP’s rapid manufacturing technique for end-use purposes, promising advancements in the field.
Azul 3D previously launched the LAKE printer, a resin-based 3D printer, employing its proprietary HARP technology. With a significant build volume and rapid printing, it delivers unmatched throughput, reportedly up to 2000 times that of similar resin printers, says the company. The LAKE 3D printer offers compatibility with a range of materials, such as rubber, high-temperature ceramic, flexible, and machinable resins. This versatility caters to manufacturers across diverse sectors, including consumer goods, automotive, and industrial tooling.
Investors bet on 3D printing with series A funding round
Aalen-based large-format 3D printer manufacturer Q.Big 3D successfully closed a €2 million series A funding round, led by HZG Group. The round also saw participation from long-time investor Manz AG, a global engineering firm, along with a personal investment from Manz-Founder Dieter Manz. This funding coincided with the launch of Q.Big 3D’s Queen 1 “XXXL” large-format 3D printer, which had been in beta testing since autumn 2022.
Berlin-based industrial parts sourcing platform MakerVerse secured €9.4 million in a Series A funding round, led by 9.5 Ventures, with participation from seed investors like Siemens Energy and ZEISS. Founded in early 2022, MakerVerse provides an AI-driven platform for instant quotes and global access to advanced manufacturing technologies. Initially focused on Germany, the startup expanded to serve international clients, particularly in industrial manufacturing, sustainability, and space sectors. This funding supported platform growth and AI-powered service expansion, with plans for increased production capacity and seamless customer system integration in the future.
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Featured image shows A factory of Azul 3D LAKE 3D printers. Photo via Azul 3D.