Boston-based AM company Fortify is teaming up with multinational science company DSM to develop high performance composite resin materials for 3D printing structural parts. The partnership will combine Fortify’s innovative Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) technology and DSM’s expertise in resin development to bring new, higher performing 3D printing composites to market.
Fortify is a new but exciting player in the composite 3D printing game. The company has developed a novel AM process called Digital Composite Manufacturing which uses magnetics and digital light processing (DLP) to print composite parts with strong mechanical properties and tuneable stiffness and weight. In short, the technology uses magnets to align the reinforcing composites within the polymer resin, ensuring precise fiber alignment in the printed part.
Working with Fortify will enable DSM to develop high performance composite resins for DLP 3D printing, as its DCM platform will “bring immediate increases in the mechanical properties of DSM’s resin.” As mentioned, the partnership will also establish Fortify as a distribution channel for DSM’s composite resin materials.
The materials developed through the partnership will ultimately be released and distributed through Fortify hardware. In terms of material properties, the resins will offer good mechanical strength and temperature resistance, making them suitable for a broad range of applications, including in the aerospace, automotive, electronics, rapid tooling and jig and fixtures sectors.
“At DSM Additive Manufacturing, we believe that collaborating with industry partners is key to advance the industry,” said Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “Partnering with Fortify allows us to develop high-performance composite materials for DLP technology, making the technology viable for functional parts in demanding applications.”
Fortify, for its part, will benefit from the partnership in a couple of ways. First, it will be able to leverage DSM’s established supply chain and its extensive experience developing advanced resin materials. Second, it will enable the company to offer a broader range of composite materials to its clients through the Fortify Fiber Platform.
The Fortify Fiber Platform is an open materials platform which invites materials developers and suppliers to create high performance resins in collaboration with Fortify’s material scientists and engineers. Unlike many closed 3D printing platforms, which are only compatible with the 3D printing company’s proprietary materials, Fortify’s DCM technology has the potential to be used with third party composites.
“We don’t want to limit our customers’ ability for growth and exploration within additive,” explained Karlo Delos Reyes, VP of Business Development at Fortify. “We guarantee our customers flexibility by embracing open innovation.”
Just last month, Fortify secured a $2.5 million investment from a range of venture capital firms to accelerate its composite DLP printing technology. Specifically, the money enabled the company to double its team and will enable it to pursue strategic partnerships such as the one with DSM. The company also aims to raise an additional $8 million through a Series A funding round this year and will soon be launching the beta phase of its DCM platform.