September 28, 2023

🔒 Mission Pitch It: The Digital Foundry’s ‘Filamet’ permits prospects to 3D print metallic, glass and extra

Management: Brad Woods
Tackle: 211 S. Water St., Stoughton
Web site:
What it does: Manufactures a particular kind of metallic filament, which permit prospects to 3D print any materials.
Based: 2015

Stoughton-based startup The Digital Foundry is making it potential to 3D print nearly any materials you may consider utilizing the corporate’s patented product, referred to as Filamet.

With the Filamet course of, a 3D printer initially supposed to print plastic might be transformed to additionally print metallic and different supplies similar to ceramics and glass.

Founder and chief government officer Brad Woods started creating The Digital Foundry nearly 20 years in the past. He was beforehand a software program architect at American Household Insurance coverage.

Whereas creating his sculptures as a private pastime, Woods discovered himself making an attempt to make metallic elements. With out his personal foundry, this proved to be an unrealistic activity. So, he started trying into other ways metals might be manipulated by utilizing chemical substances, by means of strategies like electroplating and electroforming. He ultimately started working with metallic powders. At across the identical time, a good friend gave him a 3D printer.

“It didn’t take lengthy to understand that I may merge the 2 ideas,” mentioned Woods. “We’re working with metallic powders which can be held collectively by plastic. All our merchandise work the identical and it’s pretty easy once you take a look at it that manner.”

Metallic blocks 3D printed utilizing The Digital Foundry’s filamets.

Utilizing Filamets to 3D print metals and different supplies is cheaper in comparison with the commercialized strategies getting used at present. Woods mentioned most individuals can start 3D printing utilizing Filamets for about $10,000.

He garnered the preliminary funding to formally launch The Digital Foundry in 2015 by means of a Kickstarter marketing campaign, which raised $32,000. The cash was sufficient to buy the business tools wanted to start manufacturing Filamet merchandise.

Filamet is a mix of two phrases: filament and metallic. The primary two Filamet merchandise launched had been copper and bronze.

The Digital Foundry’s present supplies catalog lists 13 inventory Filamets, together with aluminum, bronze, copper, high-carbon iron, chrome steel and tungsten.

The Kickstarter marketing campaign, initially pitched as extra of an artwork mission, drew the eye of the Division of Protection and several other aerospace firms and auto producers. Engineers from Maryland-based Lockheed Martin even invited Woods to talk on the firm’s campus.

Another metal part printed using The Virtual Foundry’s filamets.
One other metallic half printed utilizing The Digital Foundry’s filamets.

“They checked out it and realized if you are able to do that with a sculpture, you are able to do that with something that’s metallic,” mentioned Woods.

At this time, the majority of The Digital Foundry’s prospects embody completely different analysis organizations. Nicely-known organizations like SpaceX, Tesla and the USA Nationwide Lab System use Filamet for his or her analysis initiatives.

Certainly one of The Digital Foundry’s prospects is engaged on spinal implants utilizing titanium. One other, a subcontractor for NASA, tapped the corporate for a Filamet to create a cloth that simulates moon mud.

“It’s not like some other technique of producing that we’ve had earlier than. What’s taking place with 3D printing is it’s a possibility to unravel issues in a manner that’s by no means been accessible earlier than,” mentioned Woods.

Within the coming months, his most rapid targets are increasing advertising and marketing efforts and attracting new purchasers.