Additive manufacturing company Ai Build has raised £7 million in Series A funding.
Established in 2015 by two architects, Daghan Cam and Michail Desyllas, Ai Build offers manufacturers a cloud-based 3D printing solution, designed to reduce costs, lead times and material waste in a process which has historically suffered from being laborious and error-prone.
The firm, third on our FactoryTech 50 ranking this year, partners with major manufacturing firms, including Boeing, to expand the use of additive manufacturing in large-scale industrial applications. These range from specialised tooling to end-use components in aerospace, automotive and energy.
The funding was led by IQ Capital, with participation from Nikon as a strategic investor alongside its existing investors including Superseed, ACT Venture Partners, Atlas Ventures and Seedcamp.
Early customers have experienced significant improvements, says the company, including a 65% decrease in failed production attempts and a 90% increase in overall build efficiency. As Ai Build adds more machines, users, and manufacturing data to its platform, the system’s capabilities and level of automation increases.
“Despite its clear economic and environmental benefits, manufacturers have difficulty implementing additive manufacturing at an industrial scale,” said Daghan Cam, co-founder and CEO. “This is due to concerns about its reliability and ease of adoption.
“We believe that automation and smart use of data is the solution to this problem. By partnering with Nikon as a leading technology provider who has a grand vision for the future of manufacturing, and IQ Capital as a deep-tech investor with a proven track record of supporting global businesses, we are well positioned to achieve our goal for automating the factories of the future.”
Ai Build will use the funding to expand into North America by opening a subsidiary in the US, and to continue its expansion in Europe. The engineering teams of Ai Build and Nikon will collaborate to advance the state of the art in additive manufacturing by combining their experience in software and hardware technologies.
Yuichi Shibazaki, corporate vice president and officer in charge of next generation project division at Nikon, added: “Ai Build offers extensive solutions that enable automated workflows, bringing efficiency and sustainability to the field of AM.
“In tandem with Nikon’s capabilities, together we will deliver innovative solutions that revolutionise AM.”