Firm raises $355m to deliver metal AM infrastructure via 100kW machines
An MIT spin-off has raised $355 million in funding to deliver metal additive manufacturing as a scalable industrial process and reduce the United States’ dependency on overseas manufacturing.
Named ‘VulcanForms’, the spin-off – founded in 2015 by Martin Feldmann and Professor John Hart, of MIT – is now valued at over $1 billion.
The company currently has two digital production facilities in Devens and Newburyport, Massachusetts.
The Devens facility, named ‘VulcanOne’, operates a fleet of VulcanForms’ proprietary laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) systems, each wielding laser power totalling 100kW – amounting to 2MW of laser capacity overall.
The facility, which represents a capital investment exceeding $100m and more than 100 new manufacturing jobs, will combine this technology with a digital thread spanning advanced simulation, in-process sensing, and machine learning algorithms that ensure the highest quality and precision.
The operations at VulcanOne are seamlessly integrated with the Newburyport facility’s heat treatment, precision machining, assembly, and inspection capabilities, enabling VulcanForms to deliver engineered components and assemblies via a ‘groundbreaking’ US-based digital manufacturing infrastructure.
‘By scaling advanced digital manufacturing, we can create a new era of US innovation and economic growth,’ said VulcanForms co-founder, President & CEO Martin Feldmann. ‘We’ve recognised a game-changing opportunity when additive manufacturing technology is scaled for industrial production and is seamlessly integrated with automated machining and robotics. VulcanForms has built the physical infrastructure and digital workflows to deliver this full-stack manufacturing solution at unprecedented speed, precision, 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 deliver sustainable impact faster.’
VulcanForms’ customers include leading companies in the aviation, space, defence, medical, semiconductor, and other critical industries. For instance, the company supplies over a dozen US Department of Defense programmes, including the F35 Joint Strike Fighter and Patriot Air Defense System, has delivered thousands of components for the semiconductor industry, and is enabling innovation in medical implants. By combining its breakthrough technology, a data- and simulation-based digital thread, and operational excellence, VulcanForms’ integrated approach allows its customers to innovate faster and produce more without the need to make major capital investments and implement new manufacturing technologies from scratch.
‘VulcanForms brings forth metal additive manufacturing as a scalable industrial process, and as 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 which will accelerate domestic and global innovation and draw top talent to the manufacturing sector.’
The company has now grown to more than 300 employees. Its investors including Eclipse Ventures, Stata Venture Partners, Fontinalis Partners, D1 Capital Partners, Standard Investments, Atlas Innovate, Boston Seed Capital, Industry Ventures and the Simkins Family.