Dec 1, 2017 | By Benedict

New York City-based CAD company nTopology has received $7.6 million in a Series A funding round. The company’s Element design software is a generative, physics-based tool for 3D printing and other manufacturing processes that combines CAD, CAM, and simulation.

Generative design is changing the way engineers think about their designs. Or, depending on the way you look at it, encouraging them to think less about their designs altogether.

That’s because generative design lets a computer do the legwork, using complex algorithms to generate thousands or even millions of iterations of a design to see which potential iteration works best. This approach, which loosely mimics the natural process of evolution, can result in an optimized 3D model that can carry out its designated task in the best possible way. Sometimes this process will result in minor tweaks; sometimes the generative design software will come up with radical and unusual designs.

This smart, physics-based approach to design clearly has the confidence of investors, as evidenced by Data Collective and Root Ventures recently leading a Series A funding round for generative CAD company nTopology, raising $7.6 million from investors including CrunchFund, Haystack, Pathbreaker, and 1517.

“We strongly believe that with the explosive growth in additive manufacturing, nTopology represents the next advance and is already enabling the rapid design of previously impossible structures,” commented James Hardiman, Partner at Data Collective.

The cash is being flashed for nTopology’s exciting Element design software, a function-based engineering application (available in a free or professional edition) that combines CAD, CAM, and simulation processes to make complex, optimized structures.

nTopology says its Element package is different from other generative design software because of its level of understanding and ability to provide feedback to the user at every stage of the design process.

It’s loaded with a full set of rule-based structures, including lattices, ribs, and foams, which are generated on the basis of the user’s functional requirements. These structures generally cannot be created using existing parametric design tools.

Ultimately, Element provides users with the computational tools for making products more efficient, using less material in the process.

A user could, for example, import a generic 3D model of a metal tool into Element. The software could then be used to select all or part of the tool for optimization, upon which the user can select a lattice structure. Element then gives a combination of generative, manual, and simulation-based design tools that allow the user to refine and manipulate the outcome depending on the tool’s purpose.

The newly raised $7.6 million will be used by nTopology to improve its Element Pro software and add more intelligent design functionality. The company says this kind of investment is necessary to build “robust physics” and a constraint-based modeling system that is fully parametric.

nTopology already has customers in a number of industries, including aerospace & heavy industry, automotive, and medical, and its Element software can be used for 3D printing, extrusion, and CNC applications.

nTopology Element is available as a free, permanent, Windows application. Element Pro adds powerful editing, analysis, and data interchange features.

 

 

Posted in 3D Software

 

 

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bf wrote at 12/4/2017 8:31:48 PM:

URL is a bit misleading ;) ("76m-dollars")



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