Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Additive Manufacturing Firm Raises $1.2 Million On Crowdfunding Venture Capital Site

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Texas-based Technology firm Structured Polymers raised $1.2 million in seed funding  in less than a week via MicroVentures, a crowdfunding platform that connects startups with venture capitalists.

structStructured Polymers is a 3D-printing company that launched at the University of Texas at Austin. Comprised of five team members, including founder and CEO Vikram Devarajan and Carl Deckard, inventor of the SLS process, the company develops specialty polymer powders and products that are used in the additive manufacturing industry.

These polymer powders can replicate a variety of parts including those used in the automotive, aviation and medical industries.

The firm’s manufacturing method uses Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology and is proprietary and patented. SLS technology increases the types of polymers 3D printers can use. Structured Polymers says that since its polymers will be available at a lower cost, more manufacturers will be able to use them in products.MicroVenturesHome3

The company also said that its polymer powders will revolutionize the additive manufacturing industry by allowing materials to be better and stronger. MicroVentures President Bill Clark said that the fact that investors jumped at the chance to back Structured Polymers is not surprising.

“3D printing is not a fad, but the impetus for a new industrial revolution in the U.S.,” in an announcement Wednesday. “There hasn’t been real material innovation in this industry in more than 20 years. We think Structured Polymers is positioned to be a major winner in this market, as no matter who wins the battle for hardware market share, every 3D printer will need the kind of advanced ink this company is developing.”

Another reason investors poured into Structured Polymers is because 3D printing is about to get cheaper for everyone.

“We are at a major turning point in the 3D printing industry due to 20-year-old hardware patents expiring,” said Vikram Devarajan, co-founder and CEO of Structured Polymers. “This presents new opportunities in the commercial 3D printing market in particular, and Structured Polymers is set to capitalize on these changes by offering more specialized materials at lower costs than the limited materials available now.”

According to Clark, commercial 3D printers can cost upwards of $250,000. When the patents expire, that price may be slashed in half. This will undoubtedly lead to more business for Structured Polymers as the company cashes in on the $2.6 billion 3D-printing industry, in which the materials market will undoubtedly play a major role.  Learn more about this company, and discuss its investment prospects at the Structured Polymers forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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