Boeing [BA] on Monday said its venture arm HorizonX has invested in the additive engineering and manufacturing firm Morf3D, which makes components for aerospace applications.
The investment in Morf3D is the first by Boeing HorizonX in a 3D printing company. Boeing said that Morf3D, which was founded in 2015, has provided the company with 3D-printed titanium and aluminum components for its satellites and helicopters.
The minority investment will enable California-based Morf3D to bolster its engineering staff and technology and work more closely with Boeing. Morf3D currently has 12 full-time employees and three interns, Ivan Madera, the company’s CEO, told Defense Daily via an email response to questions.
“We are excited to be a distinguished and trusted partner of Boeing’s additive manufacturing supplier base, as we continue to industrialize our processes for the high-rate production of flight-worthy additively manufactured components,” Ivan Madera, CEO of Morf3D, said in a statement. “This investment will enable us to increase our engineering staff and expand our technology footprint of EOS M400-4 DMLS systems to better serve the growing demands of our aerospace customers.”
The company’s EOS M400 systems are used for direct metal laser sintering.
Boeing said that Morf3D’s technology and expertise reduce the “mass and increase the performance and functionality of manufactured parts.”
On Monday afternoon, Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s CEO, tweeted that his company has “more than 50,000 3D-printed parts flying on commercial and defense platforms today,” adding that the Morf3D investment “will help further transform our production system.”
Morf3D says on its website that it is also in a non-exclusive partnership with Altair and Switzerland’s RUAG to advance additive manufacturing for aerospace applications. Madera said that his company’s current production ranges from structures to rocket thrusters, to complex heat exchangers and that customers include Boeing, Honeywell [HON], Raytheon [RTN], Virgin Orbit and others. Virgin Orbit is part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of companies.
HorizonX’ investments typically range from the low single millions of dollars to the low double-digit millions of dollars. HorizonX stood up in April 2017 and the Morf3D investment is the 12th by the venture arm.
HorizonX co-led the Series A funding round. The second investor wasn’t disclosed.