Boston-based composite 3D printing startup Fortify has raised $2.5 million through a recent seed funding round. The funding came from a variety of investors, including Neotribe Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Mainspring Capital, Ocean Azul Partners and McCune Capital.
A young company, Fortify is becoming known for its patented Fluxprint technology, a novel additive manufacturing process that combines magnetics with digital light processing (DLP) to produce composite parts with strong mechanical properties and tuneable stiffness and weight. The process, known as Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM), was pioneered by Dr. Randall Erb and Dr. Joshua Martin and offers a viable way to create highly-reinforced composites with precise fiber alignment.
The company, which recently developed the first high-res, fiber-reinforced DLP platform (consisting of its Fluxprint hardware, dedicated materials and INFORM generative design software), will be able to significantly expand the scope of its business with the $2.5 million raised from investors.
More specifically, the company says the money has enabled it to double its team and will allow it to create new capabilities for innovation and pursue further partnership developments. The company is also backed up by a number of prizes and accolades; it was named one of the Formnext Startup Challenge winners in 2018, one of the Best University Startups 2017 (NCET2), the MassChallenge Gold Winner in 2016 and received a JEC Startup Booster Innovation Award in 2017.
“We’re thrilled to count Fortify amongst our partners,” commented Kittu Kolluri of Neotribe Ventures. “At Neotribe we place a high value on transformative technology, and Fortify continues to prove themselves as a pioneer in manufacturing for the digital age by democratizing the performance of advanced composites through additive manufacturing.”
Marc Cupta of Prelude Ventures, added: “Fortify’s 3D printing technology is revolutionary, and we’re excited to be a part of their continued growth. The efficiency their platform brings to the manufacturing space is well in line with our commitment to sustainability.”
Fortify has not just developed the DCM platform, it has also developed and launched two specialty 3D printing resins, one of which is reportedly the strongest resin available on the market. The material combines a high-performance engineering resin with specialty additives to attain its strength. The startup’s hardware and software processes also enable control over the fiber alignment within each printed component, which improves overall performance.
In addition to this work, Fortify has filed IP and is pursuing a number of partnerships with leading manufacturers across the United States. Its ultimate goal is to offer a resin-based additive manufacturing solution that effectively bridges the gap between prototyping and production.
The company has also unveiled the Fortify Fiber Platform, an open platform that invites materials developers and resin suppliers to develop new, high-performance resins in collaboration with material scientists and engineers at Fortify. DSM, a specialist in photoactive resins for AM, is one of the Fortify Fiber Platform’s partners.
“By embracing open innovation and an open materials mentality,” said Karlo Delos Reyes, VP of Business Development at Fortify. “We are giving our customers flexibility and a broad materials palette without the restraints of a single proprietary resin set.”
Moving forward, Fortify is aiming to raise an additional $8 million through a Series A funding round in 2019 and to launch the beta phase of their DCM platform. The beta phase is expected to launch this upcoming winter and will consist of supplying the composite AM technology to 10 select partners.
“The support from our investors and partners is affirmation that the technology we’re developing is meeting significant needs in the manufacturing industry,” concluded Josh Martin, CEO of Fortify. “We are looking forward to continue to be an innovation leader in the space and grow our DCM capabilities and products.”