Foundation Alloy, a vertically integrated metal part production platform, announced it has raised a $10.5 million seed funding round co-led by The Engine and Material Impact, and includes an investment by Safar Partners.
The startup, which specializes in manufacturing high performing metal parts, was founded in February of this year by CEO Jake Guglin, Head of Research & Development Jasper Lienhard, and Professors Chris Schuh (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Tim Rupert (University of California Irvine.)
“The three main competencies are alloy designs, powder manufacturing and 3-D printing,” says Guglin. The metals created through the company can be tailored to specific applications across critical industries like aerospace and defense, automotive, energy and industrial manufacturing.
The company says that through the technologies it has developed , it can make parts using less energy and creating less waste, making the manufacturing process more sustainable for the environment. “By creating stronger metals we can make lighter parts for planes, cars [which] will make those existing products greener and more efficient,” says Guglin.
One of the major innovations generated by Foundation Alloy is a more energy efficient process in sintering, a critical process in manufacturing techniques like metal-injection-molding and state of the art binder-jet 3D printing. The technology and materials from Foundation Alloy allows the parts to be manufactured to full density more quickly while using 50% less energy than conventional methods. The materials have higher consistency, quality, and a larger design space allowing the company to deliver better designed parts in days instead of months, at lower costs and with more flexibility in the supply chain.
“Foundation Alloy sits at the crossroads of three critical, societal challenges and opportunities: greener production is a global imperative, additive manufacturing is picking up speed, and U.S. manufacturing is a national priority,” said Milo Werner in a press release. Werner is the general partner at The Engine. “The team’s combined scientific and industry expertise coupled with its passion and readiness to take on something as transformational as reimagining the metal parts supply chain from the materials-level up, is truly representative of what The Engine views as Tough Tech,” she said.
The company says this new investment will fuel its plans to commercialize its integrated approach to part production, enabling flexible production of high performance parts while reducing manufacturing time, waste and energy. According to Guglin, it will also allow the company to bring in employees to build a bigger team as well as purchase more equipment so the team has the resources they need. “We picked the name foundation because we really want to be enabling technology that allows other people to go design big beautiful things, so this funding is really our foundation,” says Guglin.
“Metal is involved in some way across almost every industry in the world, yet we continue to rely on materials and processes developed in the 1950s. The newest, most innovative applications need a new foundation of advanced materials and processes to build on,” said Guglin in a press release. “By enabling a higher echelon of performance, while also increasing the speed, flexibility and reliability of the metal parts supply chain, we will support the next generations of products in critical industries.”