Originally Published: November 6, 2019
Amplify is a US-based additive manufacturing company specializing in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of 3D metal-printed orthopedic implants. The technology is moving quickly to hips & knees, spine, extremities and oncology.
I have known Brian McLaughlin for over 10 years now. He’s an expert in the additive manufacturing and is passionate about creating better solutions for the Orthopedic market. I sat down and asked Brian a few questions about his new venture at Amplify.
1 – First, tell us about Amplify and how you founded.
Amplify Additive is a company looking to fill the void in the industry for Additive Manufacturing suppliers. I founded Amplify out of a need I experienced when I was part of an early stage Orthopedic OEM leveraging Additive Manufacturing, specifically Electron Beam Melting by Arcam, now part of GE Additive. At the time, there were only (2) EBM suppliers here in the US and there were reasons I chose not to use them at the time. Therefore, I outsourced EBM manufacturing to Germany with a company that only had (1) Q10 machine. The challenge we faced with this supplier wasn’t that they didn’t have experience, they in fact had pretty good experience, but they didn’t have redundancy. Also, it took 3-4 weeks, sometimes longer, to get production and they didn’t have some of the same software tools as we initially wanted to use. Additionally, we dealt with brining implants through US Customs, which occasionally caused problems. From all of these challenges, the idea for Amplify Additive was born. In July 2018, I decided to leave the OEM and started down the path for raising money to bring Amplify to market as a supplier with this unique experience.
We successfully closed our funding round this past July, oversubscribing our round and leveraging some additional funding resources to bring in (3) Arcam Q10plus machines. At the time of funding, the team was a modest (3) people, and shortly after that we became (4) with the addition of our first employee in August. We are in the process of adding a Quality Engineer to the team.
Why Maine? In 2008 when I joined Orchid Design, we had moved from Maine to Connecticut for me to get more engaged in the Orthopedic market given that is my passion. Almost exactly 9 years later in 2017 when working remotely for and OEM, we decided to move back to Maine for lots of reasons, lifestyle being a big part of that. I had always said that if I could go out and get this experience and learn all about the Ortho industry, I’d bring it back to Maine with me and do something here. I like to think that I’ve done that and then some considering Amplify Additive is one of three suppliers of EBM for Ortho here in the US market.
Fund raising for Amplify has been a journey. Interestingly enough, prior to moving to CT in 2008, I had connected with many in the investment community in Maine and upon returning in 2017, I already had many relationships from years prior. Therefore, even though it was 9 years later, many of the same people and organizations were still in place, and many are now investors or lenders to Amplify.