What is Functionalize
From research to manufacture, Functionalize is focused on bringing you breakthrough functional materials, starting with Functionalize F-Electric®, for 3D printing and other uses to come.
Our flagship product is a breakthrough in 3D printing filament. Developed using Functionalize new patent-pending nano-materials production process, it’s the most electrically conductive filament. It’s the first thermoplastic material that enables you to 3D print complete electrical circuits, sockets, switches, buttons and connectors, directly into your 3D printed structures.
With Functionalize materials, the promise of 3D printing electronic or electromechanical functional objects directly on a personal 3D printer becomes a reality, and we believe a major leap forward in the Personal Industrial Revolution.
How it Began
Mike Toutonghi created Functionalize because he needed a simple way to make a structural and electronic part. On his birthday in 2012, Mike started a school project with his son — building an electromagnetic rocket.
After completing the design and prototype, and facing continual soldering through a number of iterations, Mike looked for an easier way. He was surprised to discover that no single 3D printer on the market at any price would let him print general circuits built into plastic 3D printed components. He was not surprised that many people were looking for the same capability.
Shortly thereafter, Mike built a laboratory with equipment to make graphene and nano-composite materials. He then began incorporating those materials into various polymers, trying a variety of approaches to get a superior result than what he’d seen or read.
Finally, after extensive research and experimentation, Mike narrowed in on a formulation and process that offered the level of conductivity needed and would 3D print beautifully.
In early 2013, Mike started Functionalize to enable the printing of circuits and other functional components on 3D printers.
Functionalize filed for a patent on a new way to produce nano-material composites that would impart a variety of properties, including electrical, optical, magnetic, heat conductive, strength, or other functions to many materials, not the least of which is 3D printing filament.
Functionalize materials can be used to create a range of new, truly functional, 3D printable products that have electrical or mechanical capabilities.
Today’s personal 3D printers create inert objects out of a variety of colors and textures of plastic. To make these objects functional usually means adding circuits, power supplies, wires, and more.
With F-Electric, Functionalize’s highly conductive filament, any product creator can now produce 3D printable products that have electronic or electromechanical capabilities seamlessly built right into the objects themselves and contain general circuits, capable of carrying enough power to light up LEDs or make things move. For example, imagine a robot not requiring any circuit boards at all!
The Personal Industrial Revolution Is Here. Now.
Functionalize intends to be a catalyst of the Personal Industrial Revolution through development of next generation 3D printing materials and technologies.
Functionalize 3D printable thermoplastic materials have application in many industries. We have just begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities, and we think of more each day.
We’re starting with highly conductive 3D printing material, and we also have ideas for magnetic, super-strong, energy storage, light-emitting, and much more. We believe these and many more breakthroughs will be needed as the Personal Industrial Revolution unfolds.
We have a list of what we believe are the most needed materials and technologies, but we’re going to need help to truly accelerate the Personal Industrial Revolution. If you are a maker, inventor, scientist, entrepreneur, 3D printer company or just have cool product ideas, we would love to hear them and to work with you.
The Functionalize team has a passion for leading edge technology, creating breakthrough products, and empowering inventors, builders, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
As a 30+ veteran of the technology industry, Mike has been a serial entrepreneur and intrapreneur throughout his career. From his first 3D CAD systems integrator startup in 1982, through founding and leading the eHome Division at Microsoft, Mike has held senior management and inventor from CEO to Corporate Vice President to Technical Fellow, focused in each role on making technology easier and more useful for everyone. Some of his more notable roles include General Manager, Architect, and one of two recognized co-founders of Microsoft’s .Net platform; Vice President, Founder and Distinguished Engineer of Microsoft’s eHome divison; CEO and Founder of the Vizrea/Webfives social network in 2003, purchased by Microsoft in 2007; CTO of Parallels, Inc.; and the role he is most excited about, CEO of Functionalize, Inc. Mike is also inventor or co-inventor on 29 issued patents, plus pending patents on Functionalize Inc.’s nano-material synthesis and polymer technology.
Although he has managed multifunctional teams of over 600 with budgets over $100MM, Mike started functionalize as its Chief Scientist and Laborer in the pursuit of enabling 3D printing electrical circuits on today’s common 3D printers. In doing so, he has developed his lifelong interest in and personal study of chemistry, and succeeded in inventing, filing for patents, and bringing to production the first 3D printing filament conductive enough to easily print general, TTL compatible circuits.
As the CEO of Functionalize, Inc., Mike works to enable its vision of “concept to functional product, on a 3D printer in any home or business.”