3D printing material developer Chromatic 3D Materials has raised more than $5 million in its latest funding round led by space start-up venture capital firm, Embedded Ventures.
The funding round also saw participation from Golden Seeds and the leader of Chromatic 3D Materials’ previous funding, Oyat Invest AG.
Visitors to Formnext 2021 were able to see how the company 3D prints with thermosets, this class of materials includes polyurethanes, silicones, and epoxies. Chromatic uses durable elastomers (Shore A 50 to Shore D 65 elastomers) and showcased the application of the technology for tighter seals for gases and chemicals, “stronger tensile strength (18MPa tensile strength at Shore A 70) and complex shapes are all now in play for your parts.”
The latest capital injection will help the company continue the commercial introduction of its proprietary technology for 3D printing industrial-grade elastomeric materials, and transition from early tech development to production-grade parts going out to customers.
“I’m so excited to welcome Embedded Ventures not only to our financing team, but also as a member of our board of directors,” said Dr. Cora Leibig, CEO of Chromatic. “They have a clear understanding of what it takes not only to develop deep technology, but to propel that technology into a successful business.”
Developing flexible 3D printing materials
Chromatic 3D Materials emerged from stealth mode in 2016 after raising $175,000 in funding. Led by Leibig, who is named as an inventor on nearly 60 patents related to material science and chemistry, the team is made up of chemists, computer scientists, and 3D printing experts with a wealth of chemical and materials knowledge and experience.
Headquartered in Minnesota in the US, and the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, the company develops durable, functional, and flexible industrial-grade 3D printing materials, and has previously secured investment from the likes of global nutritional science firm and materials producer DSM.
Chromatic 3D Materials has also been awarded Phase I and II SBIR grants from the National Science Foundation in 2017 and 2019 respectively, and has since developed customer partnerships in the defense, rail and industrial equipment sectors in Germany.
Transitioning from development to production
The latest round of funding will enable Chromatic 3D Materials to move from early tech development of its material and 3D printing hardware technology to solid production-grade parts going out to customers. The capital will be used to advance the firm’s growth trajectory and continue to build on its novel technology platform.
The company aims to double its headcount by 2023 to aid the commercial introduction of its proprietary technology for 3D printing industrial-grade elastomeric materials.
“Cora and the Chromatic team have been doing unique work for a long time, and their novel approach is a game changer for the existing 3D printing ecosystem,” said Jenna Bryant, Co-founder, CEO and General Partner of Embedded Ventures.
“THEY’VE DEVELOPED HARNESSING CHEMICAL REACTIONS WITHIN THEIR 3D PRINTERS, RATHER THAN JUST MELTING FEEDSTOCK, RESULTING IN BETTER PARTS UNLIKE ANYTHING IN THE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING ECOSYSTEM TODAY.”
Chromatic 3D Material’s work with the US government also aligns with Embedded Venture’s ‘dual-use thesis’ and its goal of assisting companies that support the country’s national security interests.
“Chromatic is uniquely suited for sectors looking for demanding material properties that are only possible with Chromatic’s 3D printers, including aerospace and defense,” said Jordan Noone, Co-founder, CTO and General Partner of Embedded Ventures. “Chromatic develops its own cutting edge materials and printing process to deposit those materials to make parts not possible with traditional manufacturing.”