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Foundation Alloy announces $10 million investment co-led by The Engine and Safar Partners

Foundation Alloy, a vertically integrated metal part production platform, announced a $10 million investment co-led by The Engine, the venture firm spun out of MIT that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies, and Material Impact. Safar Partners also participated in the round. The funding will fuel Foundation Alloy’s plans to commercialize its integrated approach to part production, enabling flexible production of high performance parts while reducing manufacturing time, waste and energy.

Specifically, the capital will go toward a pilot facility to validate and demonstrate the company’s technology and value to customers. Foundation Alloy’s high-performance material design IP, combined with advanced manufacturing and a software enabled, vertically integrated approach will not only overcome current design and performance ceilings, but also add flexibility, capacity, efficiency and reliability into the supply chain.

Foundation Alloy was founded in February 2022 by CEO Jake Guglin, Head of Research & Development Jasper Lienhard, and Professors Chris Schuh (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Tim Rupert (University of California Irvine). Its core IP powers the design of metals with properties superior to the current state of the art, and that can be tailored to specific applications across critical industries like aerospace and defense, automotive, energy and industrial manufacturing. These materials are also engineered to be more easily fabricated via advanced manufacturing, solving many of the cost, speed and quality issues currently limiting adoption of technologies such as 3D printing.

“Metal is involved in some way across almost every industry in the world, yet we continue to rely on materials and processes developed in the 1950s. The newest, most innovative applications need a new foundation of advanced materials and processes to build on,” said co-founder and CEO Jake Guglin. “By enabling a higher echelon of performance, while also increasing the speed, flexibility and reliability of the metal parts supply chain, we will support the next generations of products in critical industries.”

Foundation Alloy materials technology underpins two major innovations. The first creates significant improvements in sintering, a critical process in manufacturing techniques like metal-injection-molding and state of the art binder-jet 3D printing. Using FA materials, parts can be free sintered to full density in less time, at lower temperatures, and without deformation from slumping. Compared to current 3D printing state of the art, this allows parts to be made faster, using 50% less energy, and with higher consistency, quality, and a larger design space. When compared to traditional manufacturing processes like casting and forging, just by enabling and improving 3D printing FA can deliver higher quality, better designed parts in days instead of months, at lower costs and with more flexibility in the supply chain.

However, in addition to improved producibility FA materials can also be engineered to reach new heights in performance across properties such as specific strength and toughness. In one early example, FA has produced a molybdenum based alloy (often used in high heat applications) with 3x the hardness of TZM, the current market leader, while maintaining other critical properties. These innovations, when combined with Foundation Alloy’s vertically integrated business model, will allow the company to not only deliver parts with 2x or more performance improvements, but also 10x or better increases in supply chain efficiency, speed and reliability.

The Engine’s Milo Werner and Material Impact’s Carmichael Roberts will join Foundation Alloy’s Board of Directors.

“Foundation Alloy sits at the crossroads of three critical, societal challenges and opportunities: greener production is a global imperative, additive manufacturing is picking up speed, and U.S. manufacturing is a national priority,” said Milo Werner, General Partner at The Engine. “The team’s combined scientific and industry expertise, coupled with its passion and readiness to take on something as transformational as reimagining the metal parts supply chain from the materials-level up, is truly representative of what The Engine views as Tough Tech.”

“Additive manufacturing has advanced nicely over the years through clever processes to make viable components and products. Today the scarcity in the equation is not the tools for printing and molding but rather in the diversity and design of materials to be used in these processes,” said Carmichael Roberts. “It is the material that drives the performance and value in the process and resulting products. This is what has me so excited about Foundation Alloy’s ability to provide a unique, powerful material set that can be used in the current state-of-the-art processes for additive manufacturing.”

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