BMF raises an enormous round to 3D-print tiny things

Boston Micro Fabrication — BMF among friends — is one of the biggest names in 3D-printing teeny-tiny things. The company just announced a Series C to continue its journey, as it announces it doubled its install base over the past year.

“Our business has scaled strongly, and we plan to use the new capital to further expand our capability,” stated John Kawola, CEO of BMF. “Our global reach has been appreciated and valued by our customers, and our systems are now being used all over the world to both prototype parts that previously could not be 3D-printed and drive end-use part production where conventional methods are difficult.”

The kind of 3D-printing processes BMF offers its customers are tailored to the small, high-precision markets. BMF’s machines use what the company calls Projection Micro Stereolithography (PµSL) tech, which uses light and photosensitive resins to create ultra-high-resolution parts — capable of details down to 2μm, and layer thicknesses of 5-20 μm.

It’s hard to describe in words how small parts like that are — hence the photo of the match and the tiny little gears at the top of this article. It boggles the mind, and it unlocks some pretty incredible use cases for 3D printing.

These tiny little guys are 3D printed glaucoma stents; a medical device that can be inserted into the eye to help treat glaucoma. You may recognize the base they are placed on: a penny. The company’s case study of these tiny little devices is fascinating. Image Credits: BMF (opens in a new window)

The company has seen some pretty extraordinary growth over the past year; it claims it doubled its install base, meaning that there are more than 200 customer locations around the world. BMF lists electronics, medical device, optical manufacturers, and advanced research labs as its biggest customer groups. It also expanded global operations, with facilities in Boston, Mass, USA, and Shenzhen, China, with additional locations in Chongqing, China, and Tokyo.

BMF today announced it closed a Series C round, totaling $43 million. The company was not willing to share terms or valuation of the round, which was led by Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd. It will use the funding to advance product development, sales and marketing, and customer support as it continues to expand and serve its global customer base.

The company put together a video that shows what they do, which includes some pretty nifty 3D printer porn if that’s your thing like it is mine: