When the future of 3D printing is considered, a vision of fully functioning 3D printed electronics always pops into my head. Will we eventually be 3D printing smartphones from the ground up? How about fully functioning automobiles, including all the electronics and even the battery? The natural progression of the technology will eventually take us there, without a doubt. The time it takes, however, to get their is the only real question.
One company, founded by Dr. Jennifer A. Lewis, a professor of biologically inspired engineering at Harvard University, called Voxel8, is trying to bring us all 3D printed electronics, sooner rather than later.
Today the company took a major step in that direction, announcing an investment by Braemar Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in the energy technology sector.
“Voxel8 is pushing the limits of the design and manufacturing of electronic devices with a 3D printing platform that enables users to move beyond the prototype printing phase. The company’s technology enables the mass customization of smart devices in new form factors without the cost and waste of the traditional supply chain,” said Dr. Jiong Ma, Partners at Braemar Energy Ventures, “Braemar is thrilled to support Dr. Lewis and her talented team in the early stages of Voxel8’s growth.”
Somerville, Massachusetts-based startup, Voxel8, has been flying under the radar for the most part, working to embed conductors, wires, and batteries into the ordinary materials used in 3D printers. Their research aims to go beyond the printing of protoypes, and take on actual functioning parts for end-use.
“I am excited to leverage over a decade of research to transform the way devices are manufactured,” said Dr. Lewis, “Through the support of investors like Braemar, we are able to bring our ground-breaking technology to the mass market.”
The exact terms of the investment deal have not been disclosed, but this certainly seems to be great news for Voxel8, Dr. Lewis, as well as those like myself thoroughly obsessed with the prospects of 3D printing my own electronics.
The space for 3D printed electronics is certainly heating up, as earlier this month, another company, Mosaic Manufacturing, unveiled their Functionalize F-electric conductive filament. In doing so they demonstrated a 3D printed flashlight which was completely fabricated via a 3D printer, except for its battery and LED.
Let’s hear your thoughts on this investment in the Voxel8/Braemar Energy Ventures forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below where Dr. Lewis talks a bit about her company.