1. Josh, you co-founded Fortify in 2016. Can you give us insight about your background, your co-founders and how Fortify came to be?

Josh: My background is in materials science and mechanical engineering. I was initially exposed to additive manufacturing at the Army Research Labs. At the time, there were few production-oriented solutions in the composite materials domain but the potential was clear. I was fortunate to be awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship that allowed me to pursue a Ph.D. focused on bringing advanced composite materials to the additive space – Fortify was spun out of this work.

2. Can you provide an overview of Fortify's core products and services?

Josh: Fortify is a vertically integrated RF device and component manufacturer. We use novel additive manufacturing hardware, materials and software to enable ultra-low SWaP-C systems. Our customers can engage through design services, as well as direct part manufacturing. Example parts include ultra-wideband lenses for antenna and radar, conformal dielectric substrates, waveguides, reflectors and high-temperature radomes. We work with key R&D and manufacturing partners, such as Varioprint, who are equipped with our integrated manufacturing solution.

3. What differentiates Fortify from other companies in your space and how has this differentiation strategy evolved?

Josh: Fortify has always been focused on high-performance materials and applications engineering. For example, we are the only company in the additive manufacturing space with materials that rial traditional PCB laminates and a team of RF engineers and software workflows to engage with customers across communications, radar, etc.

4. In what industries and applications are you seeing the most success? What are you excited to see more of?

Josh: In the RF & MW space, we are working with amazing customers across commercial telecom, SATCOM and broader Aerospace & Defense. Given the increase in geo-political tensions, we are being pulled into many applications within tactical 5G communications (lensing for high-gain, high-directional antennas) and multi-band, multi-orbit satellite systems.

5. What does that typical customer engagement look like? How do those areas fit into what you provide to your customers and do you anticipate that engagement model changing in the future?

Josh: Typically, a customer engagement will start by Fortify seeking to understand the customer problem and discuss the art of the possible with parts Fortify can deliver. This typically leads into initial pilot samples, followed by a larger program that can involve NRE, delivering our platform as a service, or setting up our manufacturing partners with production work.

6. How will the partnership with Varioprint benefit the market?

Josh: Varioprint is a premier provider of manufactured RF & MW components. They have an excellent reputation in the market, particularly in Europe. The skills and relationships of the team at Varioprint allow Fortify to expand our reach and provide more value to the market.

7. Nicolas, Varioprint has been around for more than 50 years, what can you tell our readers about the history, products and market focus of Varioprint?

Nicolas: Varioprint is a medium-sized company that has been founded in 1970 and owned by the active management since 1992. Driven by the entrepreneurial spirit in our daily work, we search with great energy for the best solutions for our customers. Our focus is on specialized printed circuit boards that are characterized by a high level of technological complexity. One of our specialties is high frequency technology. In addition, we are always on the lookout for special technologies that offer our customers added value.

8. How do you think the partnership between Fortify and Varioprint will benefit the industry? What has you most excited about the partnership and your respective futures?

Nicolas: The partnership between 3D Fortify and Varioprint brings together two worlds. An established company with a strong focus on further development and a young, dynamic start-up with outstanding technology expertise. It is comparable with a collaboration of generations. Young employees bring a fresh perspective and a lot of dynamism, which is combined with experience and know-how. From my point of view, this is the perfect symbiosis. Furthermore, this is a win-win-win situation for the entire high frequency market, as we can combine the levels of supply chain, production and service for our customers.

9. Looking toward the future, what are the goals and initiatives for Fortify and Varioprint, individually and for the partnership in the next few years?

Nicolas: We are embedded in an RF environment, both geographically and in terms of our resources. We want to continue to consciously go the extra mile with our capabilities for our current and future customers. This is a perfect fit for both of us.

10. What else should our readers know about Fortify and Varioprint?

Nicolas: There is still much to tell. What seems important to me is that we are very similar in terms of culture and values. But the best thing is simply to convince yourself of the perfect fit in a conversation with our teams. You will feel the enthusiasm and passion.