TDK Ventures invests in additive manufacturing space

  • San Francisco-based Origin enables advanced materials from its 3D printers for customers in a variety of markets in the industrial, dental, and medical sectors. 
  • TDK Corporation will provide its extensive experience in mass manufacturing and electronic materials to jointly explore new additive production markets.


TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that it is partnering with a world leader in additive mass manufacturing with Origin. Origin creates 3-D printers that can print a very wide variety of products not only with unique performance characteristics but also tailored to mass manufacturing. Origin’s work with Henkel on producing the highest strength polymers with flame retardant characteristics is a key example of such a unique product with unparalleled performance with 3D printing. “We think of Origin like the Apple of 3-D printers; they own the platform, which is the 3-D printer but their end customers choose which app to build using their platform by choosing their own proprietary material,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director of TDK Ventures.

“TDK is a unique partner for Origin, with its extensive expertise in mass manufacturing and electronic material components that are in the hundreds of millions in volume,” said Chris Prucha, CEO and Co-founder of Origin. “At Origin, we are focused on producing the highest performance 3D printed products in the world so that our customers’ can leverage a cost-effective, mass-manufactured solution while satisfying their distributed manufacturing goals. With TDK in our partner network, it offers us an opportunity to expand beyond our own current capabilities and explore collaborations in newer 3-D printed electronic structures. Given TDK’s knowledge of electronics and our competency in advanced polymeric and ceramic materials, we believe this partnership will be very fruitful.”  

“Origin’s system not only creates unique products with unparalleled performance, accuracy, and cost, but they have also shown that they can deliver end-to-end solutions at an unprecedented speed,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director, TDK Ventures. “Take their nasopharyngeal swabs for example, in a matter of weeks, Origin went from napkin sketch to producing hundreds of thousands of fully sterilized, FDA compliant, ship-ready, mass production quality products per week, which is invaluable to public safety and sustainability – and currently being used to fulfill the COVID-19 testing shortage in the United States.”

“TDK Ventures focuses on collaborative partnerships with high-growth, material science technology start-ups that are extending the boundaries in deep tech. When Covid-19 hit, some of us wondered what the future of supply chains would look like, which led to our exploration of the 3-D printed mass manufacturing market. When we encountered Origin’s technology and unique business model, we realized a TDK collaboration with Origin would be fruitful for not only exploring new technology areas in 3-D printed electronic materials but also for envisioning what distributed manufacturing might look like in 10 years through the lens of an innovative start-up,” Sauvage added.  “We believe that the partnership leveraging Origin’s expertise in additive mass manufacturing and TDK’s expertise in electronics across 100+ factories will lead to cutting-edge, innovative collaborations between our two companies.”

CEO Chris Prucha and CTO Joel Ong started Origin in late 2015 to 3D print customer parts using open source printers, but quickly faced formidable deadlines. The Origin team discovered that the open source 3D printers were unreliable due to hardware and limited software, thus resulting in poor-quality finished materials. From its start, Origin strived to create an additive manufacturing approach with open materials, leveraging the largest materials science companies, flexible and simple software, and modular hardware design. Today, they have strategic partnerships with the largest materials science companies in the world including BASF, Henkel, and DSM, and at the same time deliver the highest quality products in the dental, medical, and industrial sectors.

To find out more about TDK Ventures, interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: or 


About TDK Corporation

TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK’s comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2020, TDK posted total sales of USD 12.5 billion and employed about 107,000 people worldwide.


About TDK Ventures

TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: or .


About Origin

Based in San Francisco, CA, Origin is pioneering the concept of Open Additive Manufacturing, a new way to build based on open materials, extensible software, and modular hardware. Origin One, the company’s manufacturing-grade 3D printer, uses programmable photopolymerization to precisely control light, heat, and force among other variables to produce parts with exceptional accuracy and consistency. The company works with a network of material partners to develop a wide range of commercial grade materials for its system, resulting in some of the toughest and most resilient materials in additive manufacturing. The company was founded in 2015 and is led by alumni from Google and Apple. Investors include Floodgate, DCM, Mandra Capital, Haystack, Stanford University, and Joe Montana. Learn more about Origin here: