How to fund Digital Manufacturing? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 80)

Funds like Atomico are already forming a portfolio of startups poised to disrupt many verticals through IIoT, robotics and AI, and they are showing excitement for the future as well. There is tremendous value to be created through digital startups, many of which take on daunting challenges. The aptly named Automation Everywhere wants to bring, you guessed it, automation to any mundane human task, both physically and digitally, and has just raised $1.8 billion valuation. Similarly, company Katerra wants to reinvent how the construction industry is structured and has already raised $865 million in venture capital. But is Venture Capital really the right way to fund a B2B industry with slow sales? The fact that Automation Everywhere waited 15 years to raise its first funding, and Katerra is backed with $865m from Softbank indicates maybe not. Maybe more patient private capital, or even public markets – with their more limited growth objectives – are the right source of funding. Foxconn backing Andrew Ng, while Flex has backed ex-Autodesk CEO Carl Bass with $200m indicates it may be so. Our prediction: We’ll see a lot more interesting funding mechanisms in this industry going forward.

Data, AI & Robots: Atomico’s Take on Industry 4.0

Inexpensive sensors, cheap wireless communications infrastructure, highly scalable cloud-based data processing and novel machine learning methods have converged to a point where the building blocks are in place for a new Machine Age. Venture capital investment in internet-of-things in Industry (the decidedly ugly-sounding “IIoT”) is at an all time high, according to a CB Insights report on the topic, with over $1bn invested in Q4 2017 alone.

Read the full article at Medium.

Silicon Valley company that automates ‘mundane’ tasks with robots gets nearly $2 billion valuation

A Silicon Valley company that uses bots to automate certain tasks previously done by human workers has reached a $1.8 billion valuation with a new fundraising from several companies, including Goldman Sachs. San Jose, California-headquartered Automation Anywhere this week announced a $250 million round of fundraising — its first round of outside funding despite being in business for 15 years.

Read the rest here.

Can Silicon Valley Disrupt How We Build?

940

Katerra announced that it had acquired Michael Green Architecture, a 25-person architecture firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. On June 12, the company revealed that it had bought another, larger architecture firm, Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent. This comes five months after Katerra raised $865 million in venture capital from funders led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which has also invested heavily in the co-working startup WeWork. “The construction industry is ripe for digital disruption,” said co-founder and chairman Michael Marks in a press release. “This new round of funding will enable us to further invest in R&D and continue to scale the business.”

Read the full article here.

 

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated on AM & IIoT related news as well as updates to Authentise’s services!

New design thinking is helping AM reach new heights (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 75)

AM is a fantastic piece of technology, but sometimes it can only go as far as the design behind it. That’s why, following the rise and promise of 3D printing techniques, new ways of designing by means of CAD and reasoning have been born, and they help boost the capabilities of AM in a number of ways. Take General Motors for example: through a technique called generative design, they are able to procedurally build the volume of a part to better address its functions and operational stresses, while at the same time saving precious weight. In other cases, new materials and design possibilities come together to enable unprecedented applications like, for example, a customized inflatable for future car interiors. With this kind of thinking, we start to see how this new wave of design methodologies is enabling AM processes to actually work. The 3D printed bridges and houses that we often hear about wouldn’t be much of a revolution by 3D printing alone, if not for a smart and optimized design that can make it work and excel.

GM and Autodesk Using Additive Manufacturing for Lighter Vehicles

GM is using Autodesk’s generative design technology and additive manufacturing to fabricate lighter automotive parts; this seat bracket is 40% lighter and 20% stronger than its predecessor. […] It uses cloud computing and AI-based algorithms to rapidly explore multiple permutations of a part design; it can generate hundreds of high-performance, often organic-looking geometric design options based on goals and parameters set by the user.

Read the full article here.

MIT’s 3D-printed inflatables could shape the interiors of cars in the future

Car interiors could morph into different configurations at the flick of a switch, using 3D-printed inflatable structures developed by researchers at the MIT. The Self-Assembly Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) worked with BMW on the project, called Liquid Printed Pneumatics. The German auto brand wanted to see how the lab’s experimental engineering techniques could help it realize some of the shapeshifting features imagined in its futuristic concept cars.

Keep reading at Dezeen.

Additive Construction: From the 3D-Printed House to the 3D-Printed High-Rise

AM has begun to affect nearly every industry, from healthcare to aerospace, making it possible to create unique geometries with unique properties. One industry where 3D printing’s impact is at an even more nascent stage in construction. There are firms and research groups exploring the use of 3D printing as a building technology, but additive construction is still so young that its exact purpose and benefits remain speculative and unclear. Why, other than for sheer novelty, squeeze concrete out of a nozzle to fabricate a building when you can rely on traditional methods?

Read the full article here.

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated on AM & IIoT related news as well as updates to Authentise’s services!

Manufacturing agility: on-demand printing through AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 57)

The manufacturing model that has characterized the last two centuries was one of irrepressible rush to satisfy the demands of the market. Factories constantly spewed products and parts, even when all orders were satisfied, trusting on times when these might be requested again. Needless to say, this model is very wasteful and contains surplus expenses for stocking and unneeded manufacturing, the infamous “bullwhip effect”, that partake in a feeling of gambling on the market’s ups and downs. Both customers and companies are left unsatisfied. Zara, which makes 50% of its inventory close to the point of use, only sells 10% of its inventory at a discount. Its competitors, 30%.

Additive manufacturing provides the means for a more agile manufacturing framework, one that is capable of flexibly addressing new, and sudden, needs without falling back on warehouse stock. The concept can be applied to every industry on the planet: pharma companies can 3D print drugs on the fly and locally to address an urgent outbreak, constructions can be tailored to local requirements without shipping prefabs. To realize the potential of AM in addressing these demands, the pipeline must be enabled by software capable to provide a holistic overview of operations to nimbly set about whatever request it might face. That’s what we’re focused on at Authentise. Talk to us if you want to know more.

New ‘Reactionware’ 3D Printing System Spits Out Pharmaceuticals On-Demand

Philip Kitson and colleagues at the University of Glasgow have developed a new framework for 3D printing drug manufacturing devices on-site on an as-needed basis. All it requires is a $2,000 3D printer and a drug specification (the manufacturing processes required to produce it). Given such a specification, software created by Kitson’s group dictates to the printer exactly what sort of manufacturing hardware it needs to print that is then capable of producing a particular drug.

Read the rest of the article on Motherboard.

World’s First 3D Printed Toilets Coming to India With Singapore’s Hamilton Labs

Hamilton Labs' 3D printed toilet design complete with energy genertaing solar panel roof. Image via Hamilton Labs

In a new agreement with India’s Center for Rural Information and Action (CRIA) Hamilton Labs will be providing a robot operated 3D printer to “build fast, beautiful and comfortable toilets,” for the Madhubani district in Bihar which sprawls Eastern and Northern India.

Read more about it here.

Mass Production – Is 3D Printing Up To The Supply-Chain Challenge?

Custom designs of 3D printable model cups, from One Coffee Cup a Day | 30 days, 30 cups challenge by Bernat Cuni of Cunicode Design Studio

The Bullwhip Effect describes a phenomenon in which manufacturers build a huge inventory of products based on a forecast of customer demand. From the assumed position high on the supply chain, a manufacturer can misinterpret consumer purchasing behavior at retail level – resulting in a mass of unsaleable stock. Mass customization, i.e. making products to exact customer specifications, low-labor demands and product consolidation, gives 3D printing the potential to break free of the Bullwhip Effect, therefore leading to the question:

“If the Bullwhip Effect is a critical problem in any supply chain, would 3D printing be a solution?”

Read the full article here.

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated on AM & IIoT related news as well as updates to Authentise’s services!

Decentrailized manufacturing: how AM disrupts logistics (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 44)

Much of the activities surrounding an industrial operation require a lot of logistical effort to work efficiently. Just think about the amount of planning required beforehand to build a house and during construction to make every step slide into place. These activities take up a big chunk of the overall cost of operations but AM is poised to change things up. What this technology allows is to decentralize the manufacturing power, enabling its redistribution where and when it is needed. Going back to the building example, a 3D printer can be set up to take care of pretty much all the chores of constructing the essential structure: eliminating the need to organize bricks shipping and handling and much more, effectively working with raw materials that could even be sourced locally. Automotive businesses are already eyeing AM as a solution to its replacement parts stock problem. A 3D printer can manufacture any component a customer may need (even if it’s obsolete), taking away the need to maintain massive inventories, dislocating these factories so that shipping may not even be an issue. Closer to the production plant, the capabilities of AM render many of the steps included in the traditional pipeline redundant, essentially shrinking it and reducing costs and time.

 

World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens to cyclists in Netherlands

Dutch officials have toasted the opening of what is being called the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists. “The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology, told Dutch broadcaster NOS. Work on printing the bridge, which has some 800 layers, took about three months after starting in June and it is made of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete, according to the university.

Read the full article here.

 

Electrolux Trials 3D Printed Spare Parts On Demand With Spare Parts 3D

A spare parts warehouse, which Electolux looks to replace using 3D printing. Photo via Spare Parts 3D.

Electrolux, a Swedish domestic appliance manufacturer, is performing a series of tests and analyses ahead of producing on-demand 3D printed spare parts to its customers. […] Electrolux is attempting to address problems affecting both the manufacturer and consumer. For the manufacturer the problem is high production, inventory and maintenance costs for spare parts after the production of the actual appliances has stopped, yet they are still in use. For the consumer, costs of replacement increase after the product is no longer sold, and it often takes a substantial amount of time to process and ship replacement parts.

Read the full article here.

 

Ricoh To Replace Metal Tooling With Stratasys 3D Printed Equivalents

A 3D printed fixture in use on the workbench. Screenshot via Stratasys on YouTube

Electronics and imaging company Ricoh Japan has announced that it is replacing its traditional metal tooling with 3D printed jigs and fixtures made on a Stratasys Fortus 900mc system. By integrating 3D printed tools at the Production Technology Center in Miyagi prefecture, Japan, Ricoh is boosting operational yield, and creating a more cost-effective, streamlined assembly line.

Keep reading here.

 

If you wish to be kept updated on a daily basis on movements in the AM/IIoT world, as well as our service updates and events check out Twitter feed!

We’ll be at Formnext 2017 between the 14th-17th of November! Come check us out at booth Booth # 3.1-A33.