Asahi Kasei invests in 3D printing software company Castor

Asahi Kasei, a multinational company providing solutions in materials, healthcare and homes sectors, has decided to invest an undisclosed amount in Castor Technologies Ltd. (CASTOR), an Israeli startup specialized in the development of 3D printing software. In addition to utilizing CASTOR’s software and services, the investment will allow Asahi Kasei to pursue synergies between its CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) technical service for plastic products and CASTOR’s software. Two years ago, CASTOR secured $3.5 million to foster the development of its Additive Manufacturing software

The 3D printing market has grown by an annual average of over 20% since 2015. Through the emergence of rapid prototyping and manufacturing, this annual growth rate is likely to rise to 24%, increasing the need for an optimized technical service and faster response times to customer requests.

When 3D printing is applied to conventional products, an engineer usually selects the candidate parts and decides whether to use 3D printing or not, sometimes modifying the shape to enhance 3D printability. In contrast, CASTOR’s software with its proprietary algorithm can automatically select parts that are suitable for 3D printing from CAD drawings of thousands of parts in a bill of materials (BOM) and propose shape modifications.

Further optimization of customers’ manufacturing processes is enabled by estimating manufacturing lead times, costs, and CO2 emissions of the analyzed parts. Asahi Kasei has been providing comprehensive, high precision support for its customers’ product design and development through CAE technical service focused on engineering plastics. CASTOR’s service for simple judgement of part formability and simulation of manufacturing costs is expected to enable an even swifter response to customer inquiries. Applying CASTOR’s software and service prior to Asahi Kasei’s plastic CAE technical service will contribute to automate more advanced simulations.

Through this investment, we will further investigate the synergies between CASTOR’s software and Asahi Kasei’s CAE expertise,” said Yukihiro Bann, Senior General Manager for Business Strategy and Marketing, Mobility & Industrial SBU at Asahi Kasei Corp. “We aim to provide our customers with more advanced and automated real-time simulations, as well as to expand the range of technical services that both companies can offer.”

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