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Mantle Secures $20M for Unique Metal 3D Printing Tech

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Mantle, a Bay Area metal 3D printing startup focused on precision tooling, has announced the closing of a new $20 million funding round. This Series C funding, led by Schooner Capital with participation from existing investors such as Fine Structure Ventures, Foundation Capital, Corazon Capital, 11.2 Capital, and Build Collective, brings Mantle’s total raised capital to over $61.5 million. The new funds will support the company’s market expansion, scale manufacturing, and development of new capabilities and materials.

The latest funding round is a significant milestone for Mantle as it continues to advance the spread of its novel TrueShape metal 3D printing technology. The process first involves the extrusion of metal paste that is then heated, drying the paste and evaporating some of the binder material. After 10 layers or so have been printed, a high-speed CNC mill trims the part, resulting in higher accuracy and smoother surface finish. The part is then sintered in a furnace to full density. Mantle’s flagship P-200 3D printer, commercially launched only two years ago, has demonstrated significant advantages, including reducing costs by over 65% and accelerating development cycles by as much as 90%.

Heyco mold for a wire management product 3D printed using Mantle’s technology.

Mantle’s market approach is interesting and powerful. Rather than target the direct production of high-value aerospace parts, as has been the legacy strategy for many metal powder bed fusion companies, this startup is targeting the $45 billion tooling market. While TrueShape may not end in final 3D printed parts on the market, it does result in millions of components indirectly made with 3D printing on the market. This includes a piece of a deodorant manufactured by a large, unnamed consumer goods producer.

Due to the offshoring trends of the previous manufacturing era, a great deal of U.S. tooling capacity has been lost. However, thanks to new government initiatives, there is a renewed push towards reshoring manufacturing. This has underscored the need for innovative solutions to overcome labor shortages and reduce costs and lead times. Mantle’s precision metal 3D printing technology, designed specifically for injection mold tools, is positioned to meet these demands effectively.

Heyco Products operating its Mantle machine (left). Heyco-printed tool for a deep-ribbed consumer product (right). (Photos courtesy of Heyco Products)

Ted Sorom, CEO and co-founder of Mantle, emphasized the industry’s need for advanced solutions, “The fragile state of the global supply chain has triggered a massive reshoring initiative that sharply increased the demand for molded parts and thus toolmaking. We’re navigating a twin set of hurdles: a toolmaking workforce in the U.S. that has shrunk by half over the past quarter-century, coupled with the rising costs and extended lead times brought on by constrained toolmaking capacities. This has driven manufacturers to seek out groundbreaking solutions.”

As Mantle continues to grow, the company remains focused on enhancing its technology and supporting its customers in overcoming the challenges of modern manufacturing. The recent funding round will enable Mantle to further solidify its position in the market and drive the adoption of its precision metal 3D printing solutions.

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