Press Release
July 20th, 2021

TDK Ventures backs metal additive manufacturing startup, Fabric8Labs 

  • Fabric8Labs, an additive manufacturing company, prints high-precision metal parts using a proprietary process that eliminates the expensive metal powders and power-hungry thermal processes typical in current market offerings, and is focused on initial applications that include semiconductors, antennas (5G), electronics, medical devices, and thermal management. 

  • TDK will assist in accelerating Fabric8Labs’ vision of commercializing mass manufactured, highly precise parts at a lower cost than existing methods with its deep expertise in electronic component manufacturing, materials science, and MEMS fabrication.

 

 

TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. will back Fabric8Labs, marking its second investment in the additive manufacturing space and first in metal printing. 

Fabric8Labs has developed a proprietary process that is unlike other metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) – it does not require use of expensive metal powders. Their process is uniquely positioned to produce precision metal parts that are mass-production friendly, and with a lower cost than traditional 3D printing approaches. Fabric8Labs’ proprietary process has a lower environmental footprint than other metal 3D printing processes, aligning with TDK Ventures’ focus on startups in the digital and energy transformation sector that contribute to society and sustainability efforts.

Fabric8Labs is initially targeting the rapidly growing copper market, which is expected to reach 222 billion USD in 2025¹, focusing on copper 3D printing for cooling applications in semiconductors, chip-scale fabrication, and RF / 5G components. Copper was recently coined as the new “oil” due to its prevalence in electric vehicles and semiconductor wiring. Fabric8Labs is also sampling additional metals and alloys to customers, opening applications across industries from automotive tooling to medical.

“After nearly two years of scouting for a high purity, high-precision and low-cost metal printing solution, TDK Ventures is backing Fabric8Labs for its unique market approach and innovation pipeline with future multi-materials,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director of TDK Ventures. “Fabric8Labs not only cuts across explosive markets in electrification, thermal management, and 5G applications, but also does so in an environmentally friendly manner by recycling all the metals in the feedstock, hence helping build sustainable yet resilient supply chains, aligning with our investment mission.”   

Fabric8Labs’ proprietary metal 3D printing technology deposits metal atoms at the speed of mass manufacturable industrial processes. The process leverages proven technologies developed from the LED industry to produce metal parts with ultra-high precision in a software defined fashion.


“Fabric8Labs is pleased to collaborate with TDK Ventures during the next exciting phase of our business,” said Jeff Herman, CEO of Fabric8Labs. “Metal 3D printing is growing faster than any other 3D printing technique, and with our innovative technology, Fabric8Labs is well poised to be a game changer in the additive manufacturing market. With the backing of TDK Ventures, we’ll be able to both accelerate our vision while playing an important role in TDK’s mission to focus on contributing to society through sustainability.”

Dr. Cyril Vancura, imec.xpand Fund, who led the Seed round: “At imec.xpand we are willing to take early stage technology integration risk. We were early believers in the in the idea of Fabric8’s founders to combine galvanic processes, known for centuries, with state-of-the-art TFT backplane technology. We think that their innovative process will have many applications in the future and we look forward to continue working with the team and the new investors to make this company a success.”

“Schneider Electric is exploring some very interesting applications of Fabric8Labs’ technology around fine-featured electrical connectors and thermal management inside datacenters and within our e-mobility products,” said Grant Allen, Schneider Ventures, who also participated in the Series A round. “From both an industrial and energy management point of view, we’re extraordinarily excited by Fabric8Labs’ potential and feel we’re just scratching the surface of use cases for this technology and additive manufacturing generally.”

Fabric8Labs was founded in 2015 in San Diego, Calif., and is emerging out of stealth mode after spending the last five years perfecting its proprietary technology. With the traction found in various industries, Fabric8Labs completed their Series A round raise this month of $19.3M led by Intel Capital with participation from TDK Ventures announced today, as well as Lam Capital, Schneider Ventures, Stanley Black & Decker, and imec.xpand, Mark Cuban Companies. The financing will enable Fabric8Labs to accelerate commercialization of its technology and bring the cost of metal additive manufacturing within reach for a much broader market.

To learn more about TDK Ventures, interested startups or investment partners can visit www.tdk-ventures.com or contact@tdk-ventures.com

About TDK Corporation

TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2021, TDK posted total sales of USD 13.3 billion and employed about 129,000 people worldwide.

About TDK Ventures

TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or contact@tdk-ventures.com.

About Fabric8Labs


Fabric8Labs, Inc., based in San Diego, California, is revolutionizing metal additive manufacturing with its advanced 3D printing technologies. Founded in 2015, the company is at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and is commercializing breakthroughs in material science and processing - reducing manufacturing costs and supporting significant advancements in material quality and manufacturing capabilities. Fabric8Labs is working to broaden the market for metal additive manufacturing across all industries. For more information visit Fabric8Labs.com. 


1 Copper Market Size 2021-2025 Global Industry Market research report

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