Silicon Valley composite 3D printing company AREVO has just made two big announcements. First, it has introduced its latest AM system for large-format continuous carbon fiber composites. The newly launched system, called the Aqua 2, can reportedly print parts at a rate of four times faster than its predecessor. In addition to the hardware launch, AREVO has also announced the successful conclusion of a Series B funding round through which it has raised $25 million.
The funding round was led by Defy Partners and GGV Capital, and saw investments from Khosla Ventures, Alabaster and others. With the recent funding, AREVO has raised a total of $60 million and is well positioned to grow its team and business. In addition to backing the composite 3D printing company, Defy Partners has appointed a new member to AREVO’s Board of Directors, Brian Shin, a serial entrepreneur, investor and “Defy Scout.” Shin joins existing board members Hemant Bheda, AREVO Co-Founder; Sonny Vu, CEO; and Bruce Armstrong of Khosla Ventures.
“We are excited to have Defy and GGV Capital on board to bring not only capital but a vast amount of strategic experience. The strong interests in the company despite tough market conditions really reaffirm our vision,” said Hemant Bheda. “We are looking for additional mechanical engineering and process / materials science talent, especially people who are skilled with composites.”
Now that we’ve covered the financial news, let’s dive into the company’s other announcement: the Aqua 2. The company describes the system as the “world’s first high speed additive manufacturing system for large continuous carbon fiber composite structures.” Compared to the company’s preceding system, the Aqua 2 boasts a faster print rate and higher build quality. In terms of scale, the robotic composite system can build parts of up to one cubic meter in size. AREVO will be offering composite parts as a service as well as selling the Aqua 2 system to clients.
“Arevo’s new platform enables fabrication of high strength, low weight carbon fiber parts, currently not possible with today’s standard techniques,” commented Trae Vassallo, Founding Partner at Defy. “We are thrilled to be working with the team to help scale up this incredibly impactful technology.”
AREVO recently announced it was building one of the world’s largest high-speed continuous carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites MaaS additive manufacturing facilities in Asia (the exact location has not yet been disclosed). The versatile company, which has a history of 3D printing carbon fiber bike frames, also recently unveiled a made-to-measure 3D printed e-bicycle in partnership with Superstrata. In fact, the rapid Aqua 2 system will be leveraged by the company to increase production of the bikes. The company says: “When we are done with our level 2 facility in 2021 (100+ systems), we will be able to deliver tens of thousands of bikes per year.”
Interestingly, the success of the Superstrata bike has led the composite AM company to reassess end-use applications for its technology. That is, while it has historically focused on heavy industries like aerospace, automotive and construction, AREVO is now also pursuing more prosumer sectors. It has even hinted that it is launching a new campaign this autumn.