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ADAXIS, a French-Swedish industrial robotics startup, has announced that it’s raised more than €1 million in pre-seed funding with contributions from EIT Manufacturing, Newfund Capital, SkalePark, and regional grants.
The firm is set to use the capital to launch its upcoming robotics software platform, AdaOne, this year. The control software is designed to simplify the process of programming commercially available industrial robots to transform them into 3D printing systems, ultimately making additive manufacturing accessible to any company.
Emil Johansson, director of ADAXIS, said, “The founders have spent the last five years working on developing additive manufacturing process and robotics algorithms in a research laboratory. With ADAXIS, our mission is to be a key catalyst for the industrialization and large-scale use of this technology. Closing our first round of funding and partnering with strong, long-term investors allows us to take the next step on this journey.”
Demystifying robot programming with AdaOne
Since its inception, industrial 3D printing has gone from being a niche technology to seeing extensive use in a wide variety of critical industries, including aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas.
Many of today’s large-format 3D printing systems rely on industrial robots such as robotic arms. By fitting these robots with specialized printheads for metals, polymers, composites, and even concrete, it’s possible to develop new and improved 3D printers without having to build the control systems from scratch. While this approach lowers the barrier to entry for up-and-coming 3D printer manufacturers, there’s still the issue of programming the robots, which can be a difficult and time-consuming prospect.
ADAXIS’ AdaOne software is designed to address this issue, streamlining the robot programming workflow. The product is designed to cover all of the tasks required to 3D print a part, including program generation, real-time process supervision, and multi-physics numerical simulation. According to ADAXIS, AdaOne is also scalable and can be used to program robots of any size.
The software relies on a number of proprietary algorithms that allow for multi-axis toolpath generation, enabling large and complex geometries to be 3D printed without any assembly steps. AdaOne also makes it possible to program robots to print on existing 3D surfaces, allowing users to perform repair operations on parts. The software even features customizable deposit orientation functionality which can improve the surface quality and mechanical strength of printed parts by programming non-planar layers.
Agathe Descamps, founder of Newfund-NAEH, added, “ADAXIS allows us to contribute concretely to Industry 4.0 by marketing reliable and operational tools. ADAXIS has taken on the challenge of providing software that makes manufacturing industries more efficient and competitive. We were impressed by the technological maturity of their product, and we are very happy to help this young company seize the opportunity that the development of this market represents.”
A background in research
ADAXIS was founded in early 2021 by a small group of four research engineers: Henri Bernard, Guénolé Bras, Emil Johansson, and Vasan Churchill. The firm’s creation was the result of years of applied research at the Swedish Research Institutes (RISE) and the French Institute of Advanced Industrial Technologies (ESTIA).
The firm’s relationship with the European research community was also strengthened by its first investor, EIT Manufacturing, an organization supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. ADAXIS was incubated by ESTIA Entreprendre and was recently awarded the first European prize in the “Boost Up!” innovation competition.
With advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printing, software is often just as important as hardware when it comes to the outcome of a part. Just last month, Sigma Labs announced the availability of its PrintRite3D in-process monitoring system for polymer 3D printers for the very first time. Previously only compatible with metal machines, the firm’s quality assurance platform allows users to collect and analyze real-time data, as a means of identifying and averting manufacturing anomalies.
Elsewhere, 3D printing software developer Authentise recently integrated post-processing system manufacturer Solukon’s Digital Factory Tool into its Advanced Manufacturing Execution System (AMES). The Solukon Digital Factory Tool is a sensor and interface management offering that enables the integration of automated powder removal into the digital 3D printing process. Combined with Authentise’s AMES, the tool will offer users a fully integrated metal post-processing workflow.
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Featured image shows ADAXIS’ co-founders – Guénolé Bras, Vasan Churchill, Emil Johansson, and Henri Bernard. Photo via ADAXIS.