Fabric8Labs, an electrochemical additive manufacturing specialist, has closed a $50 million Series B investment round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from existing investors including Intel Capital, imec.XPAND, SE Ventures, TDK Ventures and Lam Capital. The new capital will be used to scale the company’s proprietary electrochemical additive manufacturing (ECAM) technology and establish a pilot production facility.
“We are thrilled to have NEA’s support in executing our vision,” said Jeff Herman, Fabric8Labs CEO and co-founder. “It is critical to have partners that are aligned with our mission to fundamentally shift manufacturing with a sustainable, additive manufacturing approach; and we have been fortunate to surround ourselves with a team of top tier investors.”
Metal Additive Manufacturing (metal AM), also known as metal 3D printing, has seen explosive growth with an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% over the last 10 years. However, adoption of metal AM for high-volume manufacturing has been limited due to the constraints of powder-based feedstocks and thermal processes which drive high-costs, insufficient repeatability, and limitations in feature resolution. In contrast, ECAM builds at the atomic level from a water-based feedstock containing dissolved metal ions. The electrochemical approach allows for micron-scale feature resolution, complex internal features, high-purity materials, and rapid scalability to support mass manufacturing.
ECAM is uniquely suited to produce ultra-high resolution, pure copper components, which can be directly printed onto temperature sensitive substrates such as PCBs, silicon, or existing metal components. This capability comes at a time when electronics companies are seeking enabling technologies to address challenges with thermal management, power density, device form factor, and sustainability. ECAM enables the manufacturing of optimized designs to meet and exceed the increasingly stringent performance requirements in end-applications such as, high-performance computing (HPC), data centers, electric vehicles, wearables, RF communications, and a wide range of consumer electronics products.
“The potential of Fabric8Labs’ novel technology is undeniable and we believe ECAM is suited to support a wide range of applications across the electronics value chain,” said Jennifer Ard, Managing Director at Intel Capital. “As the team works to scale their offerings, they’ll be able to deliver value across multiple business units for their customers, furthering their value-add.”
In addition to enabling advancements in electronics – Fabric8Labs is developing medical device applications and micro-mechanical components. These applications leverage ECAM’s inherent advantages to produce extremely fine, complex features and high-performance alloys. As the company scales, ECAM will enable applications that require ultra-high resolution, such as advanced surgical tools, sensors, diagnostic equipment, and MEMs.
“ECAM stands out as truly differentiated among the sea of approaches to additive manufacturing.” said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD., Venture Partner at NEA. “You can avoid expensive post-processing, easily build complex things at micron-scale, print directly on your existing substrates, and do all of this at scale with, by far, the lowest energy — and thus carbon — footprint. We’re thrilled to partner with Jeff and the Fabric8Labs team on this revolution for additive manufacturing.”
Beyond providing manufacturing capabilities that advance customers’ technology roadmaps, ECAM is environmentally sustainable and supports green initiatives. ECAM enables more than a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to alternative additive technologies and traditional manufacturing. The winning combination of capability, cost performance, and sustainability has accelerated customer adoption of ECAM across a wide range of market opportunities.
Find out more about Fabric8Labs at fabric8labs.com.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
3DPResso is a weekly newsletter that links to the most exciting global stories from the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry.