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3D Printing News Briefs, April 3, 2021: Mirai Foods, Markforged, DyeMansion, Fictiv, Lithoz

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With stories ranging from funding for 3D printed meat products and on-demand print finishing services to a new entry-level ceramic 3D printer, we’ve got plenty of news to cover in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. So let’s dive right in!

Mirai Foods Raises $4.5m in Seed Funding Rounds

One of Mirai Foods’ non-GMO cultured wagyu patties in the skillet. Image courtesy of Mirai Foods

Swiss cellular meat startup Mirai Foods has raised a total of $4.5 million in seed funding this year. Its first round closed in January, and the second tranche recently ended, and several new and existing investors, such as Swiss VC firm Skyviews Life Science, German venture builder Team Europe, and Swiss serial entrepreneur and tech investor Ulf Claesson, participated in the funding. In order to produce a healthy product, and address the ethical implications of live animal agriculture, the startup is using animal stem cells to cultivate meat products, starting with cells from high-value wagyu cattle from Japan. Zurich-based Mirai Foods calls itself Switzerland’s first and, as of now, “only cultivated meat startup,” though it’s certainly not the only one in the world; in fact, Aleph Farms and Mitsubishi signed an agreement not too long ago to supply 3D printed cultivated meat to Japan. But co-founder and CEO Cristoph Mayr says the company’s “strict adherence to its own first principles around health and environment” sets it apart from the competition.

“We are non-GMO, we are strong in operational execution, and we are laser-focussed on [developing] a healthy nutritional profile for our meat,” Mayr said. “We also have proprietary technology around our production process.”

The seeding funding will be used to enhance in-house lab capabilities, construct a pilot production plant, and expand the startup’s employee headcount. A test market launch of its cultured beef product is planned for late 2022.

Markforged Announces New Chief Financial Officer 

Mark Schwartz (Photo: Business Wire)

Industrial 3D printing leader Markforged, which is preparing to go public after a merger deal with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) one, announced that “seasoned financial executive” Mark Schwartz, with over two decades worth of experience, has been appointed the company’s Chief Financial Officer, effective April 1st, 2021. He will be taking over from interim CFO Assaf Zipori, who will now be in charge of the company’s Corporate Development & Strategy. Once an attorney specializing in M&A transactions, private placements, and technology licensing, Schwartz most recently served as the CFO of computer vision and artificial intelligence provider Trax. Before that role, he was the CFO & EVP Strategy & Corporate Development at Fabrinet, which provides precision optical and electromechanical engineering and manufacturing services.

“Markforged’s combination of software, hardware, and materials make it uniquely positioned to capture growing market opportunities and empower manufacturers to create more resilient and agile supply chains. This is a pivotal time in Markforged’s trajectory, and I am excited to work with the team to accelerate growth and execute on the Company’s strategic plan so that customers can build anything they imagine,” Schwartz said.

DyeMansion Offering On-Demand Finishing in the US

Based in Munich, with North American headquarters in Austin, Texas, DyeMansion is pleased to announce that it’s now offering On-Demand Finishing services from its new benchmark location in Austin. For single pieces and smaller orders, DyeMansion will offer its On-Demand Finishing solution as a service, and allow you to choose from its various surfacing options. If you’re not familiar with the company’s technology, this new benchmark experience, cleverly called TryMansion, allows new clients to learn all about its whole Print-to-Product workflow for free. You’ll get to pick between PolyShot and VaporFuse Surfacing finishes, choose a color to dye your parts, and then they’ll go through the workflow. After processing, your parts will then be returned to you, accompanied by an individual report from DyeMansion.

“We’re already well established in Europe and now look to give you easy access to our technology in your region. In order to do this, we have designed a special benchmark program called TryMansion for you, the company stated in an email. “You can test our finish options and color solutions with your own parts and find the right finish for your application or for your customer’s applications.”

Fictiv Integrates New Quality Services into Platform

San Francisco startup Fictiv delivers custom, on-demand mechanical parts through its Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem, and just announced that it’s integrated several new quality inspection and certification services into its self-service digital manufacturing platform. These new additions, which are available as an add-on, allows Fictiv to deliver even higher speed and transparency to its customers, so that engineers and purchasers have an easier time locking in outsourced mechanical parts, as part of a digital quote, that are consistently of high quality. Fictiv’s new quality features include quality certificates of conformity (CoCs) and material certifications that customers can instantly add in order to meet enterprise purchasing requirements, and advanced inspection reports for an unlimited number of critical features, which customers can get through the digital quote-to-order platform.

“For many companies, productions standards are often a choice between speed or quality, with the tradeoff of faster lead times being the risk of faulty parts that can sabotage gains and set engineering teams back weeks in development, impact delivery schedules, or endanger go-to-market timelines. Now, the integration of our new quality features directly into our digital platform means hardware product teams never have to choose between speed or quality,” stated Fictiv’s CEO and Co-Founder Dave Evans. “Fictiv provides complete control, removes the guesswork, and enables consistent manufacturing results at an already unprecedented pace.”

New Lithoz Entry-Level Ceramic 3D Printer

Lithoz GmbH, a spin-off from the TU Vienna, specializes in materials and 3D printers for making bone replacement material and high-performance ceramics. The company recently announced its new entry-level ceramics 3D printer, the CeraFab Lab. It’s not available just yet, so we don’t have a ton of information, but Objective3D describes it as a reliable, compact, and easy-to-use system that’s a good choice for someone just getting started with ceramics 3D printing but still wants to achieve high-quality prototypes and components in a small-scale series at what’s described as a cost-effective price.

“As a step up from our first CeraFab 7500 machine, this facilitates the production of high-performance ceramics with quality that meets or surpasses that of conventionally manufactured components,” the Lithoz website states. “It is the most compact and user-friendly Lithoz 3D printer yet, helping eliminate entry barriers for new ceramic 3D printing users, and is particularly suitable for use in labs for both the manufacture of prototypes and small-scale series production.”

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