Braemar invests in Voxel8, creator of world's first multi-material 3D electronics printer
Braemar Energy Ventures, a leading venture capital investor in energy technology companies, today announced its investment in Voxel8, creator of the world's first multi-material 3D electronics printer capable of printing embedded electronics and other novel devices. No financial terms were disclosed.
Based in Somerville, Mass., Voxel8 is a startup company that is bringing novel materials to 3D printing. Founded by Dr. Jennifer A. Lewis, Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Voxel8 is commercializing a new platform for 3D printing including functional materials, printing hardware and intelligent software. The company enables designers and engineers to print embedded conductors, wires, and batteries into the normal matrix materials of 3D printing.
3D printing is the process of fabricating 3D solid objects from digital computer models. Dr. Lewis' research has expanded 3D printing to a far more sophisticated level. Her deep understanding of the chemistry and physics of soft materials enables her to design and manipulate various gels, polymers, and colloidal suspensions and create architectures that mimic those found in nature—such as bone, spider webs, or vascular networks. Her unique prototyping platform can pattern a broad array of functional materials under ambient conditions with features as tiny as one micron (less than one 25,000th of an inch) over areas as large as the top of a square coffee table, all in a matter of minutes. Once deposited, the inks solidify very rapidly, enabling the creation of intricate spanning and self-supporting structures, even at a microscopic scale.
The potential uses for this technique are broad and include printed electronics, 3D polymer scaffolds for tissue engineering, and advanced materials for energy harvesting and storage.
"Our approach is distinct from commercially available 3D printers because of its materials flexibility, precision, and high throughput," Dr. Lewis said.
Dr. Lewis and her team are building on the foundational patents previously generated at The University of Illinois and Harvard University. By designing novel inks from diverse classes of materials, her research group is able to create very finely tailored structures with precise electronic, optical, mechanical, and chemical properties.
"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."
"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."
Voxel8 will be participating in the Consumer Electronics Show from January 6-9, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV and can be found at booth #71726 in the Sands Exhibition Hall.