Israeli startup CASTOR has secured $3.5 million in seed funding that will allow the company to further develop its unique part identification software for 3D printing. Besides Spring Ventures, based in Tel Aviv, the other investor was none other than Xerox, which this year began marketing its metal 3D printer, ElemX.
CASTOR is tackling a major challenge in additive manufacturing (AM): which parts can be 3D printed? Companies have heard about the benefits of the technology, see competitors researching and adopting it, but due to the learning curve associated with designing for AM, they may not know where to start.
CASTOR’s platform is able to analyze parts to determine if they are economically and technically suitable for the manufacturing process. Additionally, it finds the appropriate materials and 3D printing method, performs geometric analysis, researches redesign options, compares the cost of using traditional production techniques, and simulates the possibility of failure.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders in additive manufacturing and add layers of intelligence and automation to help engineers realize the full potential of AM,” said Omer. Blaier, CEO of CASTOR.
The software was attractive enough for 3D printing hardware maker Evonik to invest in the startup. Nexa3D has also partnered with CASTOR to adopt the software. Today, Xerox is expressing its excitement for the company via this latest round of funding.
Xerox has had a somewhat tumultuous history, venturing into industries that were sometimes quite different from its original product offering, such as communications and insurance in the 70s and 80s. More recently there have been struggles intestines within the board of directors related to a possible acquisition by Fujifilm. This was followed by a hostile takeover attempt by HP. While the former was opposed by Carl Icahn, the latter was supposedly led by the same activist investor.
Along the way, Xerox sold its solid ink assets to 3D Systems in 2013 before launching its own 3D printing division in 2020, building on its acquisition of Vader Systems in 2019. We’re still waiting to see how the ElemX 3D printer is used, but the company has a flashy website dedicated to it. Investing in CASTOR not only demonstrates Xerox’s confidence in the Israeli software developer, but also an additional commitment to 3D printing. Perhaps if that results in a purchase of HP, we’ll have a new giant to deal with in the industry.
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