VulcanForms raises $355 million for industrial-scale metal 3D printing – 3DPrint.com

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An MIT spin-off has emerged stealthily with a unique form of metal laser powder bed (PBF) fusion and $355 million in funding. With investors from Eclipse Ventures, Stata Venture Partners, Fontinalis Partners, D1 Capital Partners, Standard Investments, Atlas Innovate, Boston Seed Capital, Industry Ventures and the Simkins family, Vulcan Forms is now valued at $1 billion. Additionally, it already has two “digital production” facilities in Massachusetts, in Devens and Newburyport, where it 3D prints metal parts for its customers.

The result of more than $100 million in capital investment and more than 100 employees, the startup’s facility in Devens is dubbed VulcanOne. It includes a fleet of the company’s 100 kW PBF machines, totaling 2 mW of laser capacity. That’s up to 250 times more power than existing PBF machines, which typically max out at 1 kW per laser. However, the laser wars have seen companies increase the number of power sources from 1, 2 or 4 lasers up to eight to 12. For example, the NXG XII 600 has 12 lasers with 1 kW of power each, this which is a little over a tenth of the energy claimed by VulcanForms.

The VulcanOne factory with VulcanForm metal 3D printing systems. Image courtesy of VulcanForms.

Doing the math, the VulcaOne site should have 20 systems in total. As for the technology itself, the company hasn’t explained too much about how its technology works, except to say that it combines simulation, in-process sensing, and machine learning. Based on this patent applicationit could use an array of many lasers to 3D print large areas at once. This patent granted suggests he could use a line laser, which projects energy as a line rather than a dot, to increase throughput. This puts it in

The Newburyport site is set up for finishing, with “automated precision machining and assembly operations”. To establish this facility, the company acquired Arwood Machine Corporation. In collaboration with the VulcanOne site, VulcanForms has set up what it considers to be a complete digital manufacturing infrastructure.

“By developing advanced digital manufacturing, we can create a new era of innovation and economic growth in the United States,” said VulcanForms co-founder and CEO Martin C. Feldmann. “We have identified a game-changing opportunity when additive manufacturing technology is scaled up for industrial production and seamlessly integrated with automated machining and robotics. VulcanForms has built the physical infrastructure and digital workflows to deliver this complete manufacturing solution at unprecedented speed, accuracy, quality and scale. Our technologies combined with our team of engineering and operations leaders from Google, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, Precision Castparts, IPG Photonics, Faro Technologies, Schlumberger, Alcoa, Autodesk, among others, enable our customers to innovate , grow and have a lasting impact faster. .”

Not only is the VulcanForms team itself made up of industry veterans, but its customers are pretty much the biggest you can imagine. Specifically, the company says it supplies more than 12 US Department of Defense (DoD) programs, such as F35 Joint Strike Fighter and Patriot Air Defense System. Less specifically, VulcanForms said it “has supplied thousands of components for the semiconductor industry and enables innovation in medical implants.”

“VulcanForms offers metal additive manufacturing as an scalable industrial process and a cornerstone of breakthrough digital production systems,” said VulcanForms co-founder John Hart, also a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. “Integrated digital production facilities are critical infrastructure that will accelerate national and global innovation and attract top talent to manufacturing.”

“There is a fundamental shift in how manufacturers must adapt to global supply chain challenges and increasing demands for product design flexibility. VulcanForms’ comprehensive approach to delivering an engineered solution, combining advanced additive and subtractive technologies fused through a digital thread, will revitalize manufacturing and material innovation in the United States,” said Greg Reichow, Partner at Eclipse Ventures and Director from Vulcan Forms. “The technologies that enable this agile workflow will have a huge impact on how products are imagined, designed, built and delivered for decades to come.”

For now, the company uses its own equipment to manufacture parts as a service. VulcanForms will help select candidate parts, design them for additive manufacturing with its technology, simulate production, qualify the final product and produce at scale.

We already know that VulcanForms has been running for a while since it received $2 million in seed funding from Eclipse in 2017. So while more details on its exact PBF technique and post-processing methodology will certainly be revealed, we can say that it has received substantial validation. Validation up to $355 million and US DoD contracts.

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