Key investors include the world’s leading 3D printing company Stratasys, the venture capital arm of high-performance thermoplastic composites supplier Solvay SA (Solvay Ventures). Since last year, Solvay and 9T Labs have collaborated on facilitating the mass production of additively manufactured carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components. VC investors Verve Ventures, ACE & Company, Zürcher Kantonalbank and Wingman Ventures also participated.
“This round of investment and the combined expertise with our partners will allow us to make the next big leap in commercialisation and fulfilling our mission to enable widespread replacement of metal parts with fully recyclable high-performance carbon composite materials,” said Martin Eichenhofer, 9T Labs co-founder and CEO.
9T Labs’ technology platform enables desktop-sized high-performance structural parts to be produced in CFRTP composites in production volumes ranging from 100 to over 100,000 parts/year. 9T Labs’ Red Series platform offers the best of both additive and existing manufacturing to create a more sustainable and high-performance alternative to traditional metal and plastic manufacturing technologies. It achieves this by combining software, 3D printing — offering unexcelled design freedom, part complexity, and control of fiber orientation — with compression moulding in matched metal dies – providing rapid cycle times, high production rates, excellent surface finishes and low voids, plus high repeatability and reproducibility (R&R).
The solution is used by Fortune 500 aerospace companies to lightweight their future mobility programs, by medical corporations to reduce material waste for manufacturing medical instruments and by the leisure and luxury industry to provide consumer products with increased functionality. The global 3D printing market is predicted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% to exceed a value of $100-billion USD by 2030 in the $2-trillion USD global parts manufacturing segment.
Following the investment round, John Hartner, former Chief Executive Officer of ExOne (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) will join 9T Labs’ board of directors as chairman. Hartner is an experienced leader with more than 30 years’ involvement in the automation, semiconductor, cleantech, and 3D printing industries. “I have been impressed by the company’s unique solution and am very excited to help the team to bring this technology to manufacturing companies around the world” notes Hartner.