The makers of the Blade 3D-printed supercar have received a new round of venture funding. Divergent 3D raised $23 million in a Series A funding round led by Horizons Ventures. Engineering services provider Altran (already a Divergent 3D partner) also participated.
The money will help commercialize the Los Angeles-based company’s manufacturing system for creating an auto chassis. The 3D-printed Node joints the company created can be used to connect carbon fiber parts, creating a strong but light chassis.
“Divergent 3D is honored to have earned the confidence of Horizons Ventures, a world leader in innovation that recognizes the damage being generated by automotive manufacturing in China and around the world,” said Kevin Czinger, CEO of Divergent 3D. “This investment enables us to continue our strong momentum by providing resources and relationships to bring our automotive manufacturing technology to as many automakers as possible, especially in China. The time has come for a new model of decentralized car production that fosters pioneering car designs and lowers costs while alleviating environmental damage.”
The system could reduce the cost and time required to build cars. Divergent says its vehicle structures are more than 50% lighter than normal structures, which reduces fuel consumption. The chassis can be hand assembled in just a few minutes.
Last year, the company announced a partnership with automotive manufacturer PSA (makers of the Peugeot and Citroen) to build vehicles using Divergent’s platform.
The company hopes to cut the number of parts in a vehicle by three-quarters, and reduce vehicle weight by half using its manufacturing system. This would not only make the cars more fuel efficient, but also reduce the energy requirements for manufacturing the vehicle.