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Fabric8Labs, a San Diego-based startup that develops metal additives used in high-precision industrial applications, announced that it has successfully closed a $19.3 million Series A venture round. The round was led by Intel Capital–the in-house venture capital fund of chipmaker Intel–along with an investor syndicate including TDK Ventures, Schneider Electric‘s corporate venture capital fund SE Ventures, Stanley Ventures, nanotech venture fund imec.xpand, next-generation industrial investor Lam Capital, and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

The company–which was founded in 2015, but has been developing its next-generation metals application in “stealth mode” since that time–says it will use the new capital to bring its manufacturing technology to market faster, bring down the cost of metal additive manufacturing, and create new applications across market verticals including semiconductors, 5G antennas, electronics, thermal management and medical devices.

Copper disruptor

Fabric8Labs has developed a patented process that rapidly produces complex metal parts at the atomic level. This approach differs from conventional metal additive manufacturing (3D printing), in that it does not rely on the use of expensive metal powders. This enables the production of precision metal parts that can be more easily mass-produced, at lower cost, and with a lower environmental footprint than traditional 3D metal printing.

The company is initially targeting the market for copper, which is expected to reach $222 billion in market value by 2025. Here, Fabric8Labs plans to focus on 3D printing for cooling applications in semiconductors and 5G components. The addressable market for additive manufacturing overall is currently valued at $12.8 billion, and Fabric8Labs says this could grow to $153 billion by 2030.

“We are thrilled to be supported by this syndicate of industry-leading investors, who recognize the disruptive potential that additive manufacturing presents,” Fabric8Labs co-founder and CEO Jeff Herman said in a company statement. “Our process represents a fundamental shift in additive manufacturing technologies, enabling high-volume manufacturing of parts at the atomic level via an energy efficient process that utilizes low-cost commodity metal salts. We are very excited to demonstrate, with the support of our investors, how our process will shape the future of manufacturing.”

For TDK Ventures, Fabric8Labs marks its second investment in the additive manufacturing space and its first foray into metal printing.

“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,” TDK Ventures Managing Director Nicolas Sauvage said in announcing the round. “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.”

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