Earlier this year, Impossible Objects introduced its pilot 3D printer, the Model One, at RAPID + TCT. The machine won the trade show’s Innovation Award for the service or product that will have the greatest impact on the industry, and the Model One looks poised to have a tremendous impact indeed. The printer is based on Impossible Objects’ composite-based additive manufacturing, or CBAM, technology, a production-level technology that allows users to print with composite materials such as Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass along with PEEK and other engineering-grade, high-performance polymers.
CBAM is all about high speed, low cost, and strong, lightweight parts. Impossible Objects has called it the first truly new 3D printing technology in decades, and it is quite different from anything else on the market: 2D sheets of composite materials are fed into an inkjet printer, which spray the shape of the part onto the sheets. Thermoplastic powder is then deposited onto the sheet, and sticks to the area that was sprayed by the inkjet heads. The sheets are then heated and pressed together, and the polymer bonds them together to form the final part.
Impossible Objects is gearing up to fully release the Model One in 2018, and is riding the momentum from the machine’s successful debut into the last part of this year. This week, the company announced that it has raised a $6.4 million Series A investment funding round led by OCA Ventures and with participation from:
- IDEA Fund Partners
- Mason Avenue Investments
- Huizenga Capital Management
- Inflection Equity Partners
The latest round brings Impossible Objects’ total funding up to more than $9 million.
“We’ve seen incredible momentum as more corporations are looking to additive manufacturing for production purposes and not just prototypes or low volumes. These companies need strong parts that can be made fast,” said Robert Swartz, Founder and Chairman of Impossible Objects. “We’re delighted to work with our investment partners to meet this massive opportunity.”
When Impossible Objects unveiled the Model One 3D printer in May, it also gained its first customer: Jabil, which is receiving pilot units of the machine.
“We’re just scratching the surface at how fast we can build parts and materials at scale,” said Larry Kaplan, CEO of Impossible Objects. “This funding will only accelerate our ability to develop our technology and roll it out to the biggest companies worldwide.”
The funding will allow Impossible Objects to expand its research and development and sales and marketing teams as it prepares to fully release the Model One. Right now, the company has 17 full-time employees, and according to Kaplan, that number could double in 2018.
“Impossible Objects is leading the way by using its technology to transform how the largest corporations manufacture,” said OCA Ventures General Partner Ian Drury. “The market opportunity for a revolutionary industrial additive manufacturing solution such as Impossible Objects’ CBAM is enormous and the company has huge momentum right now.”
That momentum should only continue to accelerate into 2018, as the Model One is released commercially. Until then, Impossible Objects is still selectively offering pilot versions of the machine; if you’re interested in one, you can contact the company here.
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