Last year, 3D printing software startup nTopology launched its nTop Platform, which uses generative design, topology optimization, and workflow management to overcome the typical issues seen when using traditional CAD software as well as optimize digital manufacturing. Clients such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Yamaichi Special Steel, GE Additive, In-Q-Tel, the U.S. Air Force, and EOS have successfully printed complex products using the platform. Now, nTopology has announced its latest round of funding, and that it’s raised a total of $40 million.
Global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, also headquartered out of NYC, led the Series C funding round; additional support came from Grant Verstandig and existing nTopology venture partners Canaan, DCVC, Haystack, and Root. Additionally, Insight’s Josh Fredberg will also be joining nTopology’s Board of Directors. According to a press release the company sent to 3DPrint.com, Insight Partners in particular will “help take nTop to the next level.”
“Rapidly maturing digital manufacturing technologies, like additive manufacturing, provide obvious advantages to delivering high-performance products at unprecedented speed—from COVID-19 test swabs to the latest jet engines—but the tools for designing these products create a bottleneck where engineers are forced to fight with their software and compromise on designs,” the release continues.
Many of these products were designed in CAD systems that have not changed much in the last few decades…thus lagging behind in terms of complexity compared to the items engineered today.
The startup believes that, within the next five years, engineering companies will be using 3D printing, or other advanced manufacturing technologies, to fabricate about 30% of all their parts, and that its nTop platform will “empower the design of the majority of these parts.”
“Do we want to end up replacing traditional CAD? No, that’s not our purpose. Rather, we expect engineers to use nTop Platform alongside existing systems, to solve new and hard problems that traditional CAD was never built for,” the nTopology press release states. “Overcoming those challenges will enable engineers to innovate faster, create new solutions to pressing global issues, and foster new markets.”
nTopology is definitely on the right track in this regard. SmarTech Analysis recently released its first study in three years on the additive software landscape, which found that software capabilities have majorly expanded in that time. According to SmarTech’s VP of Research Scott Dunham, this is mainly due to the fact that many CAD players are now offering “additively-intelligent” generative design software and add-on modules.
The nTop Platform is built on three main tenets, the first of which is a reliable modeling engine that was built specifically for applications in mechanical engineering. This results in fast, complex, unbreakable geometry that “overcomes the inherent limitations of traditional modeling” while the design file size small. The platform also provides control over spatial shape variations, which opens up many more design possibilities, as well as reusable workflows that merge with both built-in and user-created capabilities that engineering teams can deploy and reuse.
nTopology asserts that it doesn’t make assumptions about other companies’ manufacturing processes, and instead provides the necessary tools that allow them to easily adapt the powerful nTop Platform to their individual workflows and help eliminate daily design bottlenecks. By closing this latest round of Series C funding, the company will be able to make its advanced engineering software accessible to those who need it.
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