TDK Ventures backs metal additive manufacturing startup, Fabric8Labs

TDK Ventures backs metal additive manufacturing startup, Fabric8Labs

Published: 21-07-2021 13:21:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 71 | Tags:

TDK Corporation announced that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. will back Fabric8Labs, marking its second investment in the additive manufacturing space and first in metal printing.

Fabric8Labs has developed a proprietary process that is unlike other metal additive manufacturing (3D printing), it does not require use of expensive metal powders. Their process is uniquely positioned to produce precision metal parts that are mass-production friendly, and with a lower cost than traditional 3D printing approaches. Fabric8Labs' proprietary process has a lower environmental footprint than other metal 3D printing processes, aligning with TDK Ventures' focus on startups in the digital and energy transformation sector that contribute to society and sustainability efforts.

Fabric8Labs is initially targeting the rapidly growing copper market, which is expected to reach 222 billion USD in 20251, focusing on copper 3D printing for cooling applications in semiconductors, chip-scale fabrication, and RF / 5G components. Copper was recently coined as the new "oil" due to its prevalence in electric vehicles and semiconductor wiring. Fabric8Labs is also sampling additional metals and alloys to customers, opening applications across industries from automotive tooling to medical.

Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director, TDK Ventures: "After nearly two years of scouting for a high purity, high-precision and low-cost metal printing solution, TDK Ventures is backing Fabric8Labs for its unique market approach and innovation pipeline with future multi-materials. Fabric8Labs not only cuts across explosive markets in electrification, thermal management, and 5G applications, but also does so in an environmentally friendly manner by recycling all the metals in the feedstock, hence helping build sustainable yet resilient supply chains, aligning with our investment mission."  

Fabric8Labs' proprietary metal 3D printing technology deposits metal atoms at the speed of mass manufacturable industrial processes. The process leverages proven technologies developed from the LED industry to produce metal parts with ultra-high precision in a software defined fashion.

Jeff Herman, CEO, Fabric8Labs: "Fabric8Labs is pleased to collaborate with TDK Ventures during the next exciting phase of our business. Metal 3D printing is growing faster than any other 3D printing technique, and with our innovative technology, Fabric8Labs is well poised to be a game changer in the additive manufacturing market. With the backing of TDK Ventures, we'll be able to both accelerate our vision while playing an important role in TDK's mission to focus on contributing to society through sustainability."

Cyril Vancura, Partner, imec.xpand Fund: "At imec.xpand we are willing to take early stage technology integration risk. We were early believers in the in the idea of Fabric8's founders to combine galvanic processes, known for centuries, with state-of-the-art TFT backplane technology. We think that their innovative process will have many applications in the future and we look forward to continue working with the team and the new investors to make this company a success."

Grant Allen, Schneider Ventures: "Schneider Electric is exploring some very interesting applications of Fabric8Labs' technology around fine-featured electrical connectors and thermal management inside datacenters and within our e-mobility products. From both an industrial and energy management point of view, we're extraordinarily excited by Fabric8Labs' potential and feel we're just scratching the surface of use cases for this technology and additive manufacturing generally."

Fabric8Labs was founded in 2015 in San Diego, Calif., and is emerging out of stealth mode after spending the last five years perfecting its proprietary technology. With the traction found in various industries, Fabric8Labs completed their Series A round raise this month of $19.3 million led by Intel Capital with participation from TDK Ventures announced today, as well as Lam Capital, Schneider Ventures, Stanley Black & Decker, and imec.xpand, Mark Cuban Companies. The financing will enable Fabric8Labs to accelerate commercialization of its technology and bring the cost of metal additive manufacturing within reach for a much broader market.