Emerging from stealth mode, Origin announces new funding and a strategic partnership with BASF

SAN FRANCISCO—Origin, a new open platform for additive mass production, emerged from stealth mode in November to announce that it secured $10 million in Series A funding, led by Jason Krikorian of DCM. The company has also partnered with the chemicals giant BASF to develop material for Origin’s “open additive production” platform, which includes extensible software, modular hardware, and materials from BASF and other partners, Origin said in a press release.

Until now, additive manufacturing has been dominated by closed and inflexible systems, with material only available from the printer manufacturer. Even systems described as having “open materials” are limited, Origin said. The materials are confined to existing chemistries and heavily constrained by the print process. Origin is working to reshape additive manufacturing and create an open ecosystem, with new chemistries that will allow choice and product customization so that companies can scale and meet demand in their market with the material of their choice.

The partnership between Origin and BASF is said to be already bearing results. Working closely with BASF over the last year, Origin has developed a new print process for BASF’s new photopolymers that produces an excellent combination of surface finish, mechanical strength, and throughput, the company said.

“Origin is poised to bring additive manufacturing beyond the current confines of prototyping to make a significant impact on the $600 billion plastics market,” said Jason Krikorian, general partner at DCM, in a statement. “We are strong believers that an open approach to materials will be key to unlocking the mass manufacturing potential of additive, and it’s great to see BASF as the first example of an industry leader to formally embrace the platform.”

“This is just the start of our partnership with BASF,” said Chris Prucha, Origin CEO and founder. “We’re excited to work with BASF to launch new materials that will go way beyond what’s available today and unlock high-volume additive production. Our open network approach with BASF and other material partners will fundamentally reshape manufacturing and global supply chains.”

The combination of Origin’s flexible printing process and BASF’s new photopolymers is reported to enable customers to achieve a rare combination of customization, strength, and throughput. Parts can be rapidly printed and post-cured in a range of custom textures and colors, with the mechanical strength required for a high-volume manufactured part, according to Origin.

“We’re really excited about Origin’s open platform and are investing a lot in this partnership,” said Arnaud Guédou, business director of photopolymer solutions at BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH. “We plan to work with Origin to optimize our photopolymers and other additive materials to create a whole series of new options for high volume manufacturers.”

Origin previously raised $2.3 million from Floodgate, Stanford University, Joe Montana, and other investors. With this round, Jason Krikorian joins Mike Maples, Jr. of Floodgate on Origin’s Board of Directors.

Origin (www.origin.io), based in San Francisco, said that its open approach is designed to address the demand for better materials and the customization required by manufacturing partners looking to push 3D printing as a technology for mass production. The company was founded in 2015 and is led by alumni from Google and Apple. In addition to Floodgate, DCM, Stanford University, and Joe Montana, investors include Mandra Capital and Haystack.

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