A Re(New)able Era: Seurat Commits to Clean Energy Sources



This post is authored by CEO and Co-Founder of Seurat, James DeMuth


I once heard a speech about ten of the world’s biggest problems, which included hunger, drought, poverty and more. The point of the story was that every one of those can be solved if you tackle the challenge of sourcing energy, because energy is — by definition — the force of change.


Energy heats our homes, powers our vehicles, and puts food on our tables. It's the engine of every economy, and we use a lot of it. As new technologies and challenges force us to rethink how we power our world, we must transition to energy solutions that meet our nation’s security and economic needs and help us work toward our climate goals.

 

Today, Seurat is proud to announce that our first print depot is powered by 100% green energy, and we aspire for future locations to be as well.

 

I realized early on that energy and manufacturing are very closely linked. To make clean energy more affordable, we first need a new way of manufacturing that’s cost-competitive with existing methods. Today, Seurat is proud to announce that our first print depot is powered by 100% green energy, and we aspire for future locations to be as well.


A New Era For Manufacturing

Manufacturing is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for 22% of all carbon emissions in the U.S. — and that figure doesn’t include the impact of shipping parts around the world. The Biden administration, recognizing the importance of reducing emissions, is committing to buy lower-emission industrial materials.


Conventional casting, which represents about 20 percent of the $1 trillion worldwide metal part manufacturing market, uses natural gas and coke in the process, which in turn produces significant emissions. With the IPCC recently sounding a “code red for humanity” on climate change, now is the time for change.


Seurat is building our first print depot in Wilmington, Massachusetts, just 10 miles from the Lowell mills that launched the American Industrial Revolution. We believe our depot is a similar seismic step forward: a 3D printing factory creating critical parts for airplanes, cars, and just about anything else, that is electrically driven thanks to wind and solar delivered through the Reading Municipal Light Department’s new Renewable Choice program.


“We’re excited to provide our customers with the opportunity to power their homes and businesses with 100% renewable/non-carbon energy through our voluntary Renewable Choice program,” said Gregory Phipps, Director of Integrated Resources at the Reading Municipal Light Department. “Renewable Choice is a great option for customers who wish to support additional renewable energy resources above and beyond RMLD’s annual non-carbon energy targets.”


When our print depots are in full production, we have the potential to offset a tremendous volume of greenhouse gas emissions because our Area Printing solution will help manufacturers migrate away from casting, and because we are electrically-driven.

 

We’re grateful for manufacturing leaders that share our aspirations to decarbonize. Eight global companies are engaged in our commercialization program and they are very excited about the positive impact we will have on the environment.

 

Our current projected carbon offsets — up to 60Mt CO2yr savings with our first-generation system, and ~2Gt/year savings by 2030 as customers ramp up production and replace designs previously manufactured through casting — are an incredible starting point. To put this in perspective, displacing 60Mt of CO2 is equivalent to 6B gallons of gasoline consumed. We are working on verifying our projections following ISO 14064 guidance, an international standard that addresses the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, and we’re excited to exponentially increase our positive impact going forward.


We’re grateful for manufacturing leaders that share our aspirations to decarbonize. Eight global companies are engaged in our commercialization program and they are very excited about the positive impact we will have on the environment.


A Scalable Solution With Exponential Impact

Area Printing allows customers to maintain the very wide spectrum of benefits that 3D printing enables — such as light weighting, optimization, just-in-time inventory — but at price points that are competitive with traditional manufacturing.


Unlocking those economics is the only way to access the traditional fabrication market. Think about the silverware you eat meals with — those knives and forks are manufactured at $35/kilogram overseas. By 2030, we hope to make it more affordable to manufacture silverware via Area Printing in the U.S. than it would be to forge via carbon-emitting processes overseas.

 

We’re hoping to one day co-locate with renewable energy power plants (think renewable microgrid) or create joint ventures to source our own energy as we scale our print depots and commitment to clean power.

 

Area Printing is also a high-volume printing process; it will take a tremendous amount of energy to make this vision a reality. That’s why it’s so important to us and our partners that we use clean energy sources to fuel our 3D metal printing.


Our first factory in Wilmington, MA is under construction, and we are working with customers for high-volume serial part production. Our first customer will need more than 200 metric tons of product per year. With Seurat, each future generation of our machines will be 10 times faster than the previous one. We’re hoping to one day co-locate with renewable energy power plants (think renewable microgrid) or create joint ventures to source our own energy as we scale our print depots and commitment to clean power.


Area Printing for Abundance

Climate change only magnifies our struggles as a community; innovation in how we fundamentally make things is a part of the solution.


Seurat recognized the need for a resilient, scalable, and sustainable alternative to traditional manufacturing methods, and developed Area Printing to meet that demand. Our 3D metal printing solution is helping the world achieve net-zero emissions and empowering America’s “abundance agenda,” where we can still have our home comforts if we build a clean-energy grid — and eliminate emissions from dirty manufacturing.


We’re proud to be powered by 100% renewable energy, and we’re calling on our counterparts to call their local utility and demand a clean energy course.