Engineering software developer nTopology has raised $40M in its latest round of series C funding.
Led by venture capital firm Insight Partners, the investment round will be used to further develop the company’s topology optimization platform, while pushing for worldwide adoption. Additional investments were made by Grant Verstandig, Root, Canaan, DCVC, and Haystack.
nTopology has also stated that Josh Fredberg, Operating Partner at Insight Partners, will be joining the company’s board of directors alongside Carl Bass, the former CEO of Autodesk.
The nTop platform
The ability to produce parts with organic shapes and geometries is often considered one of additive manufacturing’s greatest strengths. However, problems tend to arise in the design phase before any actual manufacturing takes place. Despite decades of technological advancements and refinements, many of the modern 3D CAD programs of 2020 are still based on 40 year old primitive fundamentals. With engineering problems increasing in complexity year-on-year, the design tools available to us simply can’t scale up.
This is the niche nTopology is trying to fill with its nTop generative design platform, which operates on a goal-driven and computational premise to generate optimized part designs with the end-use application in mind. The software claims to be built on three major pillars, the first being to do with fast, unbreakable geometries. nTop prides itself on its “extreme reliability” and “lightning fast” process, all while keeping file sizes to a minimum – even when dealing with intricate designs.
The second pillar, the platform’s field-driven design, gives the user precise control over part geometry. In some cases, structural analysis results, or fields, can be used to thicken the walls in a certain region of the part where stress may be highest, intelligently improving the performance of the part.
The third and final pillar relates to reusable workflows. The software enables multiple users to collaborate on the development of complex mechanical systems. These systems can then be “deployed and reused by engineering teams throughout the organization”, allowing different departments to redeploy certain aspects of a project as and when needed.
nTopology’s next steps
According to Bradley Rothenberg, CEO and Founder of nTopology, in the next five years we’ll see engineering companies producing around 30% of their industrial parts using additive processes. Using the recent capital injection, the company would like to be at the forefront of this trend, offering engineering partners the opportunity to grow with the power of generative design. Rothenberg doesn’t see nTop replacing traditional CAD, instead supplementing it and solving the more complex problems that programs like SolidWorks were never really built for.
Late last year, nTopology opened its first European office in Regensburg, Germany as a response to the company’s growing customer base in Europe. Not long after, the firm also entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The partners have since been integrating nTopology’s software into ORNL’s machine controls with the aim of optimizing its manufacturing process.
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Featured image shows metal part designed using the nTop platform. Photo via nTopology.