Embarking on a journey to recreate nature’s most complex designs through artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing, German company Hyperganic raised $7.8 million in its first venture round on February 17, 2021. Led by serial entrepreneur Lin Kayser, the innovative business is focused on building a software ecosystem for the future of manufacturing by creating voxel-based 3D models. The new funds will strengthen and expand Hyperganic’s presence in Singapore, where it has recently set up a research and development center and hopes to hire a staff of 30 AI engineers, designers, and computer scientists.
The investment is led by Munich-based early-stage firm HV Capital, formerly known as HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, one of Europe’s largest funds with 329 investments worth $1.2 billion, and VSquared Ventures, renowned for their early investments in quantum computing and spacecraft. The two companies are joined by private equity investor Converge from Massachusetts, as well as crystal jewelry brand Swarovski and science-based innovator and serial entrepreneur, Hermann Hauser.
“Humanity’s biggest challenges can only be solved through a giant leap in technology,” said Kayser, the company’s CEO. “We’ve created Hyperganic to fundamentally change how we design and build the things around us. Now we are ready to shift gears. We are happy to have the support of such a diverse team of investors on this exciting journey.”
With the new funding, Hyperganic will drive a significant expansion of its existing team, accelerate the development of its Singapore campus and establish an R&D center in China. The company expects to use Singapore as a key pillar of its development strategy. This decision was mainly driven by the country’s highly publicized investment in vibrant technology, specifically for advanced manufacturing, including AI, robotics, and industrial 3D printing.
As part of the country’s five-year Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) plan, the government will spend a record S$25 billion ($18.7 billion) to build new capabilities towards becoming a digital nation, driving economic development and sustainability by 2025. The program focuses on four key areas: health, sustainability, the digital economy, and manufacturing. Moreover, this critical investment will help the sovereign island city emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic and attract foreign companies, like Hyperganic.
Kayser said Singapore is one of the few countries that has recognized a “seismic shift” through digital factories based on additive manufacturing (AM). He believes that the products designed by Hyperganic’s Singapore AI engineers will be game-changers for many industries that are highly relevant to the region. Established in 2015, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) was incepted to orchestrate and implement strategies for the future of production.
The Singapore government initiative will catalyze innovation and scale industrial adoption of AM technologies by focusing on industrial applications and translational R&D to create innovative products and services. Co-founding Managing Director of NAMIC Chaw Sing Ho said they had engaged Hyperganic in 2018 when it was still in stealth mode, and after meeting Kayser at a conference. Ho described the company as extraordinary, with a unique vision that relies on algorithms to create functional products with biomimicry designs.
Hyperganic’s mission is to radically accelerate innovation in the design, engineering, and production of physical products through the company’s A.I. software platform. Founded in 2017, it emerged from stealth mode in late 2020. After spending years working on its flagship products, the team finally released the Hyperganic Core 2.0 and Hyperganic Print Framework 2.0 platforms, founded on a voxel-based geometry system for AI-driven and algorithmic design. This advanced technology is set to drive a paradigm shift, where complex, efficient, and sustainable products are created by computer algorithms and AI and manufactured in digital factories based on industrial 3D printing.
In the Hyperganic ecosystem, geometry can be infinitely complex, states the company. Each particle is placed following an algorithm without any shape limitations. The platform can handle large features with complex curves, as well as very small, even microscopic structures. But the key to Hyperganic’s AI engineering is that users can constantly regenerate objects from scratch. While in traditional engineering, redesigns are costly and need to be avoided, Hyperganic’s new platform allows hundreds or thousands of variants.
Working with leading companies in the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, and China, Hyperganic works with customers on a broad variety of applications, including aerospace, consumer goods, and medical products, but it can fundamentally be applied to any field of engineering. For example, in 2019, a partnership with German additive manufacturing vendor Kumovis led to the creation of a tailored software suited for the R1 printers. Hyperganic has also developed a 3D printed rocket engine prototype, which was completely designed by AI and printed as one continuous piece.
In a recent case study, the Hyperganic Lab team used AI-based automated workflows to create a process that takes the information of an individual cyclist’s 3D head scan, historical data of crash impact statistics, and a previously defined shell shape to automatically design an individualized helmet. The output is a ready-to-print helmet that provides protection and supports exactly where needed and optimizes the airflow for top-notch aerodynamics. For additional shock absorption and comfort, specially designed 3D printed silicon inlays were added to the inside of the shell.
Since the funding round, the five investors are really looking forward to seeing what Kayser and his team will come up with next. Investor Hermann Hauser, the tech entrepreneur who spun off Cambridge-based chip designer ARM from Acorn Computers in 1990 said “Hyperganic is doing for physical objects and machines what I did with ARM for the smartphone industry.” In fact, the smartphone industry is built on the foundations of ARM’s technology architecture. Similarly, VSquared Ventures’ Herbert Mangesius considers Hyperganic brings fundamentally new capabilities to the field of manufacturing, one of the largest markets on Earth.
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