Smart production of sustainable thermal management systems
FACT Industries develops new powder feedstock for additive manufacturing (3D printing) of ceramic-based thermal management systems. The material and technology found a growing interest in aerospace and electronics industries, where the high thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion coefficient and sustainable design is of high importance.
The additive manufacturing technology enables more customised design and low-cost, small-scale production, while the higher thermal conductivity enables faster cooling and lighter weight of parts. The ceramic nature of the product provides a lower thermal expansion coefficient which leads to higher lifetime expectancy.
A friend of mine, a leading engineer in a well-known electronic company, frequently complained that their prototyped mobile hand-watch became hot quickly. They were looking for an advanced cooling system, which should be small, light and eliminating heat quickly. Just for fun, I made for her a 3D printed metal-based heat sink to test. She was fascinated by the result. I understood that I could make a difference. I built a strong team and started the entrepreneurial journey.
Marina Aghayan, CEO of FACT Industries
New powder feedstock enables economically viable use of additive manufacturing methods and techniques to produce thermal management solutions with characteristics that meet increasingly challenging requirements posed by various industrial end-users. FACT Industries technology boosts the resource efficiency of manufacturing process, resulting in an inherent low amount of waste compared to traditional device shaping methods. Furthermore, smarter designs of heat management components lead to more lightweight devices and increased functional performance.
Main benefits include:
- Faster cooling (due to high thermal conductivity of material)
- Lighter weight (due to light material and smart geometry of parts)
- A smarter design with increased air/fluid flow (due to 3D printing technology)
- Lifetime expectancy (due to the low thermal expansion coefficient)
- Low cost at small scale production (due to 3D printing technology)
The power of network
Back in 2017, FACT Industries took part in a competition of the best start-up idea in Tallinn organised by Estonian Fund Prototron and EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub Baltic Sea. The team took the first place and supporting hands to establish and develop FACT Industries. The team of EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub Baltic Sea supported the young start-up not only financially but also helped in networking and establishing collaborators.
Later on, the team received financial support in the RM Booster programme in 2018. FACT Industries participated in the EIT RawMaterials Call for Projects in 2019 and received Fast-Track project funding in 2020. Moreover, last year the team received funding from the Booster Call in response to the COVID-19 crisis as part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative.
EIT Community provided the start-up with support in business development and network generation, which had a crucial role in the growth of FACT Industries.
EIT Community means a lot to us. The EIT RawMaterials team provides intensive networking possibility, finds the best fitting companies and organises meetings to enhance collaborations. Thanks to the EIT RawMaterials team effort, we collaborated with RESITEC, ELKEM, Aalto University, TalTec University, CSIC, the University of Tampere University, Tecnalia.
Marina Aghayan, CEO of FACT Industries
As of now, the team’s key milestones include collaboration with the European Space Agency to fit their product to the space needs. Also, FACT Industries is extending the contractors and collaborators’ list and geography from Europe to Asia. The team established a new laboratory in Armenia, which provides supplementary research and produces customised bioimplants. The start-up launched a small scale production line and attracted private investment of USD 30 000 in December 2019.
FACT Industries’ innovation journey continues as they now have a team of four people and have significantly increased turnover since 2018.