We are thrilled to announce that Two Sigma Ventures is investing in Freeform alongside Threshold Ventures, Founders Fund, 8VC, and others.* Officially launching out of stealth having raised $45M to date, Freeform is a cutting-edge metal 3D printing company founded by accomplished leaders and engineers previously at SpaceX.
The concept of 3D printing has been around for decades. In the eighties, it was referred to as rapid prototyping. But it’s only been in about the last five years that 3D printing is being considered viable as an industrial-production technology and is increasingly referred to as additive manufacturing. This came as a result of greater increased precision, and repeatability, as well as a more expansive range of materials that 3D printing technologies can now support.
Freeform has developed a technology that we believe represents a paradigm shift for additive manufacturing by enabling fast, high-quality, and fully autonomous printing of metal parts. The core of the technology involves combining multiple lasers all of which work in parallel to improve the speed of printing while ensuring the quality of the printed material. The technology is enabled by a closed-loop of sensors and actuators that monitor the printing and control the melt process in microseconds. The company has also developed a set of models that can simulate the printing of geometries, in order to optimize the printing process in-silico before any material or laser power is used. This model is designed to learn and improve with every job Freeform completes. Freeform operates a fully owned printing factory system, where the team who has built the printing system is maintaining and constantly optimizing it to promote the highest standards of operation.
The combination of Freeform’s proprietary technology stack, autonomous printing factories, and manufacturing-as-a-service business model positions Freeform to enable all industries to innovate more efficiently and effectively. With paying customers across advanced energy, automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors, Freeform is delivering on the promise of additive manufacturing to produce parts at a mass production scale.
We have known the CTO and co-founder, TJ Ronacher, for over six years and have gotten to know the CEO and co-founder, Erik Palitsch, over the last three years since the company was founded. Both have long-standing careers in manufacturing and aerospace. They overlapped at SpaceX where they leveraged metal 3D printing to accelerate the development of numerous rocket engines and later rejoined forces when they founded Freeform, making this transformative technology available to all industries. They are both role model engineers on top of being strong leaders. They have perseverance and embody a culture of constant improvement and creativity that we believe enables them to solve the most challenging problems efficiently. It’s the compounding of constant improvements that we expect will lead to big leaps in innovation.
We look forward to partnering with the Freeform team as they seek to improve supply chain reliability and radically transform how things are made.