Fortify, an additive manufacturing startup and pioneer in Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM), has closed a $10M Series A funding to introduce next generation composites to the 3D Print and liberate engineers and designers from the limitations of traditional manufacturing. The round was led by Accel with additional participation from Neotribe, Prelude Ventures, and Mainspring Capital Partners. The funding will also support the launch of Fortify’s Discovery Partner Program and the growth of the Fortify team. This follows a previous seed round this year of $2.5 million.
Founded in 2015 by Joshua Martin and Randall Erb, the Boston, MA-based 3DFortify is an advanced manufacturing startup that aims to disrupt additive manufacturing. The startup is introducing next generation composites to the 3D Print / Additive Manufacturing industry with its proprietary Digital Composite Technology (DCM). Fortify’s patented Fluxprint process, adds magnetics to proven digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing to produce composite parts with optimized mechanical properties. Durable, high-performance DCM parts are produced faster and at a fraction of the cost of other traditional composite manufacturing processes, allowing engineering teams exciting new pathways to innovation.
Fortify’s revolutionary ‘Fluxprint’ technology combines magnetics and digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing to produce composite parts with optimized mechanical properties. This is achieved by precisely orienting reinforcement fibers throughout the parts. Founded on research in composite 3D printing by Dr. Randall Erb and Dr. Joshua Martin at Northeastern University, applications for their technology can be found in the manufacturing, aerospace, and automotive industries among others. With Fortify’s patented hardware and software, users are granted control over fiber alignment throughout each printed part – allowing them to “tune” material properties for specific applications.
“Now more than ever before, it’s vital that the U.S. economy has a strong manufacturing ecosystem,” said Eric Wolford, venture partner at Accel. “Fortify is uniquely positioned to help lead the resurgence of American manufacturing by using tech to produce best-in-class parts for the digital age. We’re thrilled to support the entire Fortify team as they continue to set a new standard in manufacturing.”
Fortify’s Discovery Partner Program will give select customers early access to the DCM platform. Fortify’s technology focus is initially on injection mold tooling for quick turn, lower volume runs and high performance end use parts. While these applications are not necessarily “new” to industry watchers, early Fortify users are reporting dramatic (10-100X) improvements over trials with other 3D printed mold tools. Fortify is supplying molds now to support customer applications and will ship beta machines to select partners in early 2020.
Fortify is exploring end use part applications with industry leaders in electrical connectors, impellers, mixers, and specialty drones. These use cases will all benefit from Fortify’s unique ability to tune material properties.
Additionally, Fortify this year introduced the Fortify Fiber Platform, inviting materials companies and resin suppliers such as DSM, BASF and others to develop high-performance resins in conjunction with Fortify material scientists and engineers.
“We’ve achieved so much since our founding, and we’re eager to expand on our platform capabilities,” said Josh Martin, CEO and founder of Fortify. “With the support of our investors, we will focus on innovation, bring our technology to new partners, and grow our product offerings.”
Fortify has experienced tremendous growth over the past year, doubling their team and securing new office space to accommodate the expansion. Notable hires include industry veteran Ben Arnold as VP Business Development, most recently of Desktop Metal and Dave Colucci, formerly of Soft Robotics, as their new Embedded Systems Lead Engineer. To support its growth, Fortify will add several additional team members as they relocate over the summer to the Hood office park area in Charlestown.
“Material properties are the dominant factor driving adoption of Additive Manufacturing across industries,” said Ben Arnold, Fortify VP of Business Development. “Our open materials platform leverages the world’s leading polymer chemists as they continually innovate. We reinforce these base resin with fiber as we print to gain significantly higher levels of performance. It’s quite exciting that even in this early stage of the company, we have customers buying parts for use in production applications.”
In addition to its Series A, Fortify has received multiple accolades, including being named Formnext Startup Challenge winners (2019), Best University Startups 2017 (NCET2), JEC Startup Booster Innovation Award (2017) and MassChallenge Gold Winner (2016).