Fortify, a Boston-based additive manufacturing startup and pioneer in digital composite manufacturing (DCM), announced it has closed a $10 million Series A funding led by Accel with additional participation from Neotribe, Prelude Ventures and Mainspring Capital Partners. The funding will support the launch of Fortify’s Discovery Partner program and the growth of the Fortify team. This follows a $2.5 million seed round earlier this year.
Fortify’s Fluxprint technology combines magnetic 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 the technology can be found in the manufacturing, aerospace and automotive industries, among others. Fortify’s patented hardware and software grants users 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 it continues to set a new standard in manufacturing.”
Fortify’s Discovery Partner Program gives select customers early access to the DCM platform. Fortify’s technology focus is initially on injection mold tooling for quick-turn, low-volume runs and high-performance end-use parts. While these applications are not necessarily “new” to industry watchers, early Fortify users are reporting dramatic 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 benefit from Fortify’s unique ability to tune material properties.
Additionally, this year the company 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.”
Ben Arnold, Fortify VP of Business Development, added, “Material properties are the dominant factor driving adoption of additive manufacturing across industries. Our open materials platform leverages the world’s leading polymer chemists as they continually innovate. We reinforce these base resins 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.”
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).