Business

Fortify raises $20M for volume manufacturing of Flux 3D printer

Boston-based 3D printing startup Fortify has secured $20 million after closing a Series B funding round, which it will use to commence volume manufacturing of its Flux series 3D printers.

The firm will also use the funds to accelerate its expansion within “high-value application spaces” and to grow its team, in addition to speeding up the time to market on several of its ongoing material development programs.

The funding round was led by investment firm Cota Capital and received participation from Accel Partners, Neotribe Ventures, and Prelude Ventures.

“Fortify has been focused on proving the viability of our product and market opportunity over the past 18+ months, and exceeded our goals set at the beginning of 2020,” said Josh Martin, CEO and Co-founder of Fortify. “This next round will expand our go-to-market footprint in key verticals such as injection mold tooling while enabling us to capture market share in end-use electronic devices.”

Fortify DCM-made component. Photo via Fortify
Fortify DCM-made component. Photo via Fortify.

Fortify’s Digital Composite Manufacturing platform

Founded in 2016 on the principle of building materials “from the microarchitecture up”, Fortify produces custom microstructures in high-resolution 3D printed parts using its patented Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) platform.

After several years of development, the company shipped its first product in October last year, its FLUX ONE 3D printer, which incorporates Fortify’s proprietary Fluxprint and Continuous Kinetic Mixing (CKM) technologies. The FLUX ONE enables users to print fiber-reinforced photopolymer mold tools in a matter of days, and is the first and only system to combine the company’s in-situ CKM and Fluxprint technologies,

Fortify’s patented Fluxprint process combines magnetics with Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing to precisely align composite fibers within a liquid material, in order to provide reinforcement and tune desired mechanical properties in an end part. The company launched its CKM vat polymerization technology in March 2020, designed to improve functionality and mechanical properties in 3D printed photopolymers. CKM ensures performance-enhancing additives stay uniformly distributed in resins before they are cured, in order to avoid clustering and sedimentation. 

Fortify has previously entered into partnerships with the likes of chemical manufacturing giant Henkel, where the partners leveraged DCM technology to mix reinforced fibers with Henkel’s resins to develop optimized industrial 3D printed parts, and multinational chemical company Royal DSM, to develop composite materials for the 3D printing of structural parts in the automotive, aerospace, and electronics sectors.

A 3D printed sample from Fortify with Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM). Image via Fortify.
A 3D printed sample from Fortify with Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM). Image via Fortify.

$20 million Series B funding

The funding raised by Fortify’s most recent equity round will be used to continue fuelling the growth of its team, which has already seen notable hires in the past couple of years. Paul Dresens, formerly of metal 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal, joined the company as VP of Engineering, and Rob Stevens, formerly of 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys and cloud-based community GrabCAD, has been appointed an Advisor.

The new capital will also enable Fortify to transition to volume manufacturing of its Flux series of 3D printers and enable the company to expand its efforts in high-value application areas. Additionally, the funding will allow the company to accelerate the time to market for several of its high-value material development programs currently underway with its material partners.

In a press release, Fortify hinted at further announcements over the course of this year regarding new materials partnerships and product releases.

“The additive manufacturing market is rapidly expanding, and we believe that Fortify is unlocking one of the key barriers to growth of the industry: advanced materials,” said Bobby Yazdani, Founder and Partner at Cota Capital. “We are excited to collaborate and support the company as it continues to redefine advanced manufacturing.”

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Featured image shows the Fortify team based in Boston. Photo via Fortify.

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