In the midst of the COVID crisis, Azul 3DTM continues to pick up steam.
The 3D-printing tech startup has secured $12.5 million in an oversubscribed seed financing. Azul 3D will use the capital to advance its proprietary high-area rapid printing (HARPTM) technology and launch its first commercial printers.
Through this round, Azul 3D added several new key backers to its growing investor pool, including:
- Louis A. Simpson, former CIO for Geico, former manager of Berkshire Hathaway and founder of SQ Advisors
- Wally Loewenbaum, former chairperson of 3D Systems
- Joe Allison, former CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
- Hugh Evans, former senior vice president of corporate development for 3D Systems
“Investors recognize the paradigm shifting and disruptive nature of Azul’s proprietary HARP 3D printing technology,” said Chad Mirkin, Azul 3D cofounder and chair.
HARP’s throughput allows Azul to substantially lower the upfront and sustained costs in the manufacturing of goods, spanning many sectors. “The company intends to secure major partnerships validating this point in the very near future,” Mirkin said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the company’s subsidiaries demonstrated such capabilities using its instrumentation to print personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals, prisons, first responders and members of the Navajo Nation.
“One of the reasons we’re doing so well is because our technology offers a solution to unexpected surges in demand and supply-chain bottlenecks that occur during global crises, such as in the current pandemic,” said David Walker, Azul 3D cofounder and chief technology officer. “With the ability to manufacture nearly anything quickly and on demand, we can meet these unexpected needs as they arise to quickly fill gaps in the supply chain. That’s the big difference between HARP and traditional manufacturing as well as many other forms of 3D printing, which either don’t have the throughput or material properties to meet the required specifications. We don’t have to change a whole assembly line or machine new molds. The concerns that accompany a stressed supply chain simply vanish.”
Using HARP, the Azul 3D team is now producing medical face shields at a record rate of 1,000 components per printer in a 12-hour shift.
ABOUT AZUL 3DTM
Azul 3DTM is a leading-edge 3D printing company that is transforming the additive manufacturing industry. Initially invented and developed at Northwestern University, HARPTM allows one to print 3D structures from a wide pallet of materials. The initial printers based upon HARPTM are capable of manufacturing parts at production speeds, regardless of size, with a throughput dramatically outpacing its competitors and becoming competitive with injection molding. Azul 3DTM is enabling manufacturers to transition from prototype to mass-manufacturing on a single, streamlined production platform. In combination with its proprietary industrial-grade materials, it offers the opportunity for just-in-time mass production of diverse, highly customized products.