3D Software

Tech Soft 3D acquires Ceetron to expand its SDK 3D printing software portfolio

Additive manufacturing software company Tech Soft 3D has announced the acquisition of 3D visualization technology firm Ceetron AS

The deal will see Ceetron’s purpose-built visualization and simulation Software Development Kits (SDKs), become part of Tech Soft’s Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) portfolio. Tech Soft’s investment will ultimately enable it to better support programmers in the development of simulation and analysis applications, and to reach new clients in the manufacturing, building and construction sectors. 

“Ceetron has been fueling innovation in CAE for 20+ years and Tech Soft 3D is excited to expand its portfolio to better serve our partners in the CAE space,” said Tech Soft 3D CEO Ron Fritz. “We remain focused on empowering developers of engineering software, and the addition of the market-leading Ceetron technologies will help us do that.”

Through its latest acquisition, Tech Soft 3D is aiming to enhance its offering to programmers in the construction sector. Photo via Tech Soft 3D.
Through its latest acquisition, Tech Soft 3D is aiming to enhance its software offering to potential clients in the construction sector. Photo via Tech Soft 3D.

Tech Soft 3D’s SDK software portfolio

Established in 1996 and headquartered in Bend, Oregon, Tech Soft 3D markets data access and engineering graphics SDKs to the CAE market. The company has offices around the world including the US, France, England, Japan and Norway, from which it markets over 500 different applications, and provides support for millions of users. 

In order to accommodate the CAD data import/export, solid modeling and UI creation needs of its engineering clients, Tech Soft 3D has worked with numerous other firms recently, and expanded its offering of services. At present, the company is partnered with the likes of Dassault Systemes, Siemens and Autodesk, which supply a range of AutoCAD and modelling apps to Tech Soft’s customers. 

The firm is best known for its HOOPS online platform, which provides developers with 3D visualization and data SDKs that enable them to quickly build web applications. Tech Soft’s proprietary software has been leveraged by a variety of clientele, ranging from virtual marketplaces like Xometry, to software businesses such as Proplanner

Using Tech Soft’s advanced HOOPS SDKs, Proplanner has been able to integrate 3D model data into its core software, which has allowed its users to streamline their workflows and consolidate model data into one wrapper. Following its acquisition of Ceetron, Tech Soft now aims to merge its simulation and visualization SDKs into HOOPS as a means of expanding the capabilities of its flagship toolkit. 

“Over the coming months, we’ll be working to integrate Ceetron’s technology with our HOOPS toolkits,” said Gavin Bridgeman, CTO at Tech Soft 3D. “This acquisition is about making the HOOPS platform more attractive to a broader set of users in the engineering software world, by enabling them to do everything they need to do with their CAD data.”

Tech Soft 3D is planning to integrate Ceetron's advanced FEA and CFD SDKs into its existing product portfolio. Image via Tech Soft 3D.
Tech Soft 3D is planning to integrate Ceetron’s advanced FEA and CFD SDKs into its existing product portfolio. Image via Tech Soft 3D.

Acquiring Ceetron’s advanced SDKs 

Based in both Norway and France, Ceetron offers Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) 3D visualization tools to independent vendors in the CAE market. The firm’s current lineup includes desktop and server-side parts that read and process cross-solver CAE data, and WebGL-based visualization technologies that allow CAE models to be shared and post-processed. 

As part of the agreement between the companies, Ceetron’s FEA and CFD SDKs will be integrated into Tech Soft’s wider product portfolio. Tech Soft intends to retain Ceetron’s staff though, who will continue to support its customers, and the company has committed to “maintaining and supporting” its existing partners too. 

Although the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, Tech Soft confirmed that it was backed by investment firm Battery Ventures, and that the move could potentially create a new market for its products in Norway. According to the company, it now plans to increase its global reach further, by investing in product development, and increasing its product offerings in the near future. 

“Our vision has been to enable developers of simulation software everywhere to accelerate their development cycles through the utilization of our 3D visualization development kits,” said Tor Helge Hansen, Managing Director of Ceetron. “Together we are excited to explore the opportunities that will be unleashed from this collaboration.”

Workflow optimization 3D printing software  

In addition to technical engineering software such as Tech Soft’s HOOPS platform, an increasing number of companies have recently launched their own workflow packages, which cover the entire 3D printing process. 

Workflow software developer Authentise for instance, has partnered with Addiguru to integrate real-time process monitoring systems into its proprietary AMES system. Between them, the companies aim to add computer vision and AI-based in-situ monitoring to Authentise’s existing workflow management program. 

Elsewhere, Renishaw is working with TRACEam to develop an end-to-end quality optimization tool for industrial 3D printers. The software is being custom-designed to integrate into Renishaw’s InfiniAM API ecosystem, and provide users with a simple and scalable method of managing AM parts.

Desktop printer manufacturer Raise3D has also developed an “all-in-one” program portfolio, with the launch of its ideaMaker Library in May 2020. The final part of the firm’s software integrates all stages of the 3D printing workflow, and has been optimized to provide enhanced productivity and ease of use. 

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Featured image shows someone using Tech Soft 3D’s HOOPS Communicator 2020 software. Photo via Tech Soft 3D.