Digital Alloys Adds $12.9M From VCs, Boeing for Metal 3D Printing

Metal-making 3D printer company Digital Alloys has raised a $12.9 million Series B round of funding from venture investors and businesses that hope to benefit from the company’s manufacturing technology.

The new investment was led by G20 Ventures, while Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Lincoln Electric, and Khosla Ventures also participated. (Khosla led Digital Alloys’ $5 million Series A round of funding in 2017.) With the financing announcement, Digital Alloys said it had received two patents for its method of printing hard metal parts, from tools that are used in automotive and consumer product manufacturing to titanium parts used by the aerospace industry.

The access to Digital Alloys may help Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing (NYSE: BA) produce metal structural aerospace parts faster, according to a prepared statement from Boeing HorizonX Ventures managing partner Brian Schettler. Meanwhile, the Digital Alloys technology, known as Joule Printing, may help welding product technology maker Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ: LECO) with areas such as tooling and low-volume cast parts, according to a statement from a company executive in a news release.

Digital Alloys contends it can make production-quality parts out of almost any metal, mixing multiple metals in one part, making it possible to optimize the part for various thermal, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties. Digital Alloys was founded in 2017 when it was spun out of New Valence Robotics, which goes by NVBots, another 3D printing company with a flagship product that makes plastic parts and is controlled by an automated system. NVBots was sold in December to Harrison, OH-based Cincinnati Inc., a manufacturer of industrial 3D printers and other metal fabrication equipment, for an undisclosed price.

The Boston market is hopping with 3D printing activity. Competing metal-3D printing company Burlington, MA-based Desktop Metal received a $65 million investment in its latest round of funding, led by automotive giant Ford (NYSE: F). Desktop Metal is still working through a lawsuit it filed against Watertown, MA-based 3D printing firm Markforged, which alleges that a former intern stole proprietary documents and shared them with his brother, a Markforged executive, according to a news report. A federal jury ruled in favor of Markforged in a different patent infringement lawsuit brought by Desktop Metal.

Meanwhile, Somerville, MA-based Formlabs received two investment rounds this year: a $30 million Series C funding round in April, led by Tyche Partners, and a $15 million round led by New Enterprise Associates. Formlabs, which was founded in 2011, said the latest funding round valued it at more than $1 billion, making it a “unicorn” business.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @xconholley

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