Industrial Origami snaps up $17 million

San Francisco start-up aims to bring to market its low-waste system of fold-up sheet metal for building appliances and automobiles.

In its third round of funding, Industrial Origami secured $17 million on Monday toward commercializing its fold-up sheet metal technologies for building cars and household appliances.

Wedges punched into the edges of sheet metal enable geometric forms to fit together, reducing the amount of welding and fasteners.
Wedges punched into the edges of sheet metal enable geometric forms to fit together, reducing the amount of welding and fasteners. Industrial Origami

The company says its patented system can slash manufacturing costs by 70 percent. Touted environmental benefits include less scrap waste at a factory as well as more efficient industrial shipping and storage.

The London-based Environmental Technologies Fund led the round.

"Industrial Origami profoundly changes the way products are designed and manufactured," said Patrick Sheehan, a partner at the fund, said in a statement.

Washing-machine maker Whirlpool is producing goods using the technology, which is compatible with CAD design software.

Industrial Origami says its system would work with materials other than steel, including plastic and composites, and could be used in an array of additional industries including telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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