Here at Connected World, we have long talked about the advantages of industrial 3D printing in manufacturing. Now with sustainability also at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the opportunities are even more advantageous.
But first, let’s look back to look forward, as I always like to do. As most of us know from experience, traditional desktop CAD (computer-aided design) and engineering software was developed for traditional manufacturing methods. This has required engineers to have access to an expensive, high-performance workstation in the office.
In the past several years, we have seen the rise of 3D printing, which offers new opportunities to build things with complex shapes. Grand View Research suggests the global 3D printing market size was valued at $16.75 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at an annual rate of 23.3% from 2023 to 2030.
This is partly due to the technology benefiting manufacturers in terms of prototyping, designing of the structure and end products, modeling, and time to market. As a result, the production expenses have reduced considerably, and the manufacturers are in a position to offer better products at reasonable prices. As a result of these benefits, the demand for 3D printers is expected to be prompted more in the coming years.
The challenge is a gap still exists between 3D printing hardware capabilities and the software to take advantage of the potential. This has prevented wide usage and adoption of 3D printing for production applications.
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To help address this, Metafold has raised $1.78 million in seed funding. The company has developed an ultra-precise, lightning-speed geometry computation engine for outputting accurate designs for 3D printing complex parts. The company’s cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform is accessible on any device, making it easy for teams to produce optimized parts with the web application or by leveraging an API (application programming interface) to build custom tools and integrations.
Through this advanced geometry support, Metafold enables manufacturers to use less raw material and produce lighter, more efficient parts which use less energy—both of which contribute to helping customers achieve their sustainability goals.
The funding comes as the company has gained rapid traction within a number of key manufacturing markets such as biotech and retail, supporting its customers’ need to design, test, and produce highly optimized structures. The company plans to use the funds to deepen its first principles approach to solve tough geometry problems that are currently holding back 3D printing from mainstream adoption.
As technologies continue to advance, new opportunities will present themselves for manufacturers. Now is the time to move from traditional manufacturing processes to more advanced manufacturing processes, as technology is advancing, and the market is demanding new, innovative products. Amid a worker shortage, such technology can help speed time to market and deliver the time and cost savings that manufacturers are so desperately looking for in today’s connected era. How will your company respond?
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