PTC acquires Frustum in $70 million generative design deal

Massachusetts-based software company PTC has announced the acquisition of Colorado software developer and 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards nominee Frustum, for approximately $70 million. This acquisition will add Frustum’s generative design technology to the PTC Creo CAD portfolio.

“PTC is pushing the boundaries of innovation with this acquisition,” said Jim Heppelmann, President and CEO, PTC. “Creo is core to PTC’s overall strategy, and the embedded capabilities from ANSYS and, later, Frustum will elevate Creo to a leading position in the world of design and simulation.”

“With breakthrough new technologies such as AR/VR, high-performance computing, IoT, AI, and additive manufacturing entering the picture, the CAD industry is going through a renaissance period, and PTC is committed to leading the way.”

Creo CAD software solutions

PTC’s Creo 5.0 CAD software portfolio aims to utilize new technologies such as additive manufacturing, IoT, Model-Based Definition (MBD) and Augmented Reality (AR) to “design faster and smarter.” Last year, PTC integrated ANSYS’ Discovery Live simulation software into its ThingWorx platform. Following this, the company announced that ANSYS will also deliver its real-time simulation within the Creo 5.0 product suite.

Introducing a new Creo software package earlier this year, PTC previously partnered with Belgian software and 3D printing service provider Materialise. This package is designed for manufacturing end-use metal products and is compatible with the Materialise Build Processor, a slicing feature of Materialise’s Magic 3D Print Suite.

Functional end-use part design in Creo. Photo via PTC.
Functional end-use part design in Creo. Photo via PTC.

PTC, Frustum, and ANSYS

According to PTC, with embedded Frustum and ANSYS capabilities, Creo will be able to recommend design approaches using generative design, ultimately guiding the user through the iterative design process using ANSYS Discovery Live. This process is intended to validate the full product design at scale.

GENERATE is the name of Frustum’s generative design software, an intuitive program for creating topology-optimized components for additive manufacturing, milling and casting, powered by the company’s patented engine, TrueSOLID.

In response to this development, Jeff Hojlo, Program Director at market intelligence and advisory service provider IDC Manufacturing Insights, stated, “This acquisition is a natural step for PTC and its customers. AI and machine learning are widely discussed as two of the most impactful technologies of the future.”

“For design, engineering, and R&D, the potential positive impacts of complementing the development process with AI and machine learning are astounding: lowering cost of quality, improving product success rate, and improving time to market and time to revenue by meeting customer needs accurately the first time.”

PTC’s acquisition of Frustum closed yesterday. According to PTC, this transaction is not expected to add material revenue for 2019.

A part in development using TrueSOLID™ generative design. Image via Frustum
A part in development using TrueSOLID™ generative design. Image via Frustum

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Featured image shows an optimized, manufacture-ready part. Clip via Frustum.