Startup Lumafield emerged from stealth mode replete with funding and an innovative CT scanner that was purportedly safer and easier to use than others. Now, the firm has secured a $35 million Series B round with investors Spark Capital, Lux Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Data Collective, and Future Shape. The startup has now raised over $65 million to democratize CT scanning.
“The manufacturing world is changing dramatically. Manufacturers are confronted with an increasingly competitive marketplace, radical shifts in supply chains, and ever-higher customer expectations. My experience leading Protolabs gives me an appreciation for the positive impact technology can have on manufacturing. Lumafield offers a technology, a team, and a perspective that promise to reshape the way products are made. I’m very excited to work with Lumafield to realize its vision,” said Lumafield board member Victoria Holt, former CEO of Protolabs.
CT is an essential technology for checking 3D printed parts. By looking at the inside an additively manufactured item, we can determine if it has cracked or made correctly. This is particularly important in additive, due to the possibility of internal complexity, as well as the potential for internal stresses. However, the technology has traditionally been extremely costly and even potentially hazardous. For that reason, it is of great advantage to the additive industry to have CT scanning made more commonplace, accessible and simple by Lumafield.
The startup’s Neptune scanner is reportedly 300 times faster than it once was, suiting to analyzing many parts in series production. I’m a long-term advocate for checking each 3D printed part rather than just a sample for quality assurance (QA), so this development is music to my ears.
Under the hood of the Lumafield machine is a lot of software, which the startup is turning to democratize a hardware-dominated field. By using AI, the firm claims that it needs fewer x-rays to achieve the same results of other scanners. The AI also makes it possible to use less data to obtain high quality 3D models, saving time and money.
This concept has significant latitude for future development. For instance, consider all of the things the firm can do to speed up analysis and identify faults. Lumafield states that some scans that ¨took several hours can now run in a minute or less,” which would really make the technology much more deployable industrially. For now, the scanner automatically identifies some faults in parts, but it could potentially go further and specifically identify parts out of spec or help users dial in more precise settings automatically. With further automation, components could be rejected, recycled, and pushed through in increasingly automated ways. Lumafield can be found at IMTS in the East hall, third floor booth 135828.
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