Metal 3D printing company Fabric8Labs raises $19M

Fabric8Labs this morning announced that it has raised $19.3 million. The Series A was led by Intel Capital and features Lam Capital, TDK Ventures, SE Ventures, imec.xpand, Stanley Ventures and Mark Cuban. It follows $4 million in seed funding raised in mid-2018.

The San Diego-based startup specializes in metal 3D printing. It’s a hot category, of late, as evidenced by Desktop Metal and Markforged’s decisions to go public via SPAC over the past two years. Fabric8Labs says lower cost and less energy consumption are among the benefits to its process.

“Our process is inherently different and does not utilize powder nor thermal processes. Instead, it is based on electrochemical deposition, which operates at room temperature, has a significantly lower power demand, and utilizes an aqueous (water-based) solution made from low-cost metal salts,” CEO Jeff Herman tells TechCrunch. “In combination, the commodity priced raw materials and power-efficient process enable a step change in reducing the total cost of ownership and cost per-part.”

The company says the funding will go toward doubling its headcount before the end of the year, increase development of its existing technology and showcase its ability to print high-resolution copper pieces. The company plans to bring the technology to market, but notes that goals of hitting a general market will be a multiyear process.

Scalability is always one of the biggest question marks around any kind of additive manufacturing. Herman says 3D printing for manufacturing is firmly in Fabric8Labs’ sights.

“Our technology is extremely scalable,” the executive says. “The vision we share with our partners is to deploy our technology at a massive scale in the factories of the future, with process capabilities and economics uniquely positioned to tackle high-volume manufacturing. A Fabric8Labs-enabled factory could easily consist of 50+ automated systems sharing large feedstock reservoirs, similar to other large-scale electrochemical processes in operation today.”