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Chattanooga Success Story: Branch Technology

Company brings cutting-edge 3D innovation to the construction industry.

By Kim Madlom on October 6, 2021

Jeff Adkins

Branch Technology is bringing “what’s next” to the construction sector. Branch Technology moved to Chattanooga, TN as a startup with three people and one robot in 2014 and now works from a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with 15 robots.

In late 2020, Branch raised $11 million in venture funding to expand its fleet of large-format printers. The construction and technology company started in the INCubator, a program run by the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and located in the Hamilton County Business Development Center.

About Branch Technology

The company specializes in large-scale 3D printing, offering a patented process called Cellular Fabrication, C-Fab. This method allows the material to solidify in open space, creating a matrix of polymer in virtually any shape.

The company printed the unique wave design facade of a Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union branch in Chattanooga, the first of its kind in the country. A combination of carbon-reinforced open lattice, lightweight foam and glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), the panels used in the construction are insulative and lightweight.

Jeff Adkins

Robots mill the panels down and apply a thin layer of GFRC, followed by a water repellent, self-cleaning finish. “We are committed to a wise stewardship of materials,” says John McCabe, director of brand and communications for Branch Technology. “These materials are better, more resilient and sustainable.”

Plastics and polymers aren’t generally seen as sustainable materials, but Branch Technology is challenging that perception. He says Branch Technology’s proprietary system creates structures using 20 times less material than traditional layered-deposition techniques.

“The problem is that plastics traditionally have been single-use throwaway items,” he says. “But if you want something to last, composite polymers are the way to go.”

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