Imperial College London

3D printing startup raises £1 million in seed funding

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A metal object produced using additive manufacturing methods

TOffeeAM's software uses artificial intelligence to find the best possible design for components, maximising efficiency and performance

TOffeeAM, a startup founded by researchers in the Department of Aeronautics, has raised £1 million in seed funding in a round led by IQ Capital.

TOffeeAM, a startup founded by Imperial researchers in the Department of Aeronautics, has raised £1 million in seed funding in a round led by IQ Capital.

TOffeeAM optimises product designs for Additive Manufacturing (AM) – also known as 3D printing – and was founded in 2019 at Imperial College London by Dr Francesco Montomoli (CEO), Dr Marco Pietropaoli (COO), and Dr Audrey Gaymann (CTO).

TOffeeAM is developing software solutions for design for Additive Manufacturing, to maximise the efficiency and performance of components. This is especially important in aircraft, or in high performance vehicles, such as F1 cars, where the most optimal design for a mechanical component is likely to be incredibly intricate – far beyond what humans could envisage or design themselves.

The company received support from Imperial’s Techcelerate programme, as well as the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Smart production

TOffeeAM’s intellectual property is based on research undertaken at Imperial over a number of years. Dr Montomoli runs the Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) lab within the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial and TOffeeAM’s software develops and applies this experience to Additive Manufacturing.

TOffeeAM licenses its software to businesses that use Additive Manufacturing. Customers include GE Aviation, Baker Hughes, and a Formula 1 team, who use it to create important structures in smart industrial production – such as coolant systems for gas turbines.

TOffee is relevant to numerous applications, but has found initial customers in the aeronautics and automotive industries. In these industries, part design relies on human imagination and intuition, which are in general unable to take full advantage of advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing. TOffeeAM’s software enables designs of higher complexity, outside the possibilities of standard design processes. In addition to optimising 3D printed parts, TOffee can optimise whole systems by reducing the total number of parts and increasing resilience. Its technology has a potentially transformative effect on the AM industry, with solutions up to 40 percent more efficient than competitors, allowing parts to be produced 20 times faster.

The team behind TOffeeAM: Augrey Gaymann, Marco Pietropaoli and Francesco Montomoli
The team from TOffeeAM, an Imperial startup delivering software that optimises part design for additive manufacturing. From left to right: Audrey Gaymann, Marco Pietropaoli, Francesco Montomoli

Since its formation, TOffeeAM has received key industry prizes, including the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship, the Amazon AWS Programmable 2018 and the Amelia Earhart Fellowship. It has also participated in Imperial’s Techcelerate programme and received mentorship through the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service.

The proceeds of this seed-funding round will be used to hire engineers and additional staff to enable the company to expand upon its existing engineering capabilities and to further develop its customer base.

CEO and founder of TOffeeAM, Francesco Montomoli said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from our investor partners - it's a fantastic indication of their faith in the commercial applications of our technology. This funding will give TOffeeAM the opportunity to expand our team with expert engineers and other team members and continue to scale the solution to serve our rapidly expanding customer base. We are at the beginning of an exciting journey, and this funding will help drive our growth and the wider use of this transformative technology across a variety of industries.”

Ed Stacey, Managing Partner of IQ Capital commented: “The TOffeeAM team has already achieved an enormous amount with their software, which is advancing the developing field of AM, and we are proud to support Francesco and his expert team. This funding will allow the team to further commercialise their technology with additional staff, particularly the engineers which will drive forward the innovation at the heart of this company. With the intelligent software the team has developed and the strong deep tech expertise of the team, the sky is the limit in terms of TOffeeAM’s capabilities, and I’m looking forward to seeing the role they can play in the field of smart industrial production.”

Brijesh Roy, Seed Investment Manager at Imperial College London, said: “TOffeeAM’s success to date is a source of great pride for Imperial, and we’re pleased to see the company reach this latest milestone. The combination of technical innovation and customer understanding TOffeeAM has achieved since inception offers an outstanding example of the benefits of translating university research to industry. Imperial has supported TOffeeAM through a range of programmes and we are delighted to see this highly-promising startup emerge from our entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Reporter

Gavin Reed

Gavin Reed
Enterprise

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