Evonik Venture Capital, the investment arm of German chemical company Evonik, has invested in Castor Technologies, a startup whose software is helping AM adopters to identify how and where to use additive manufacturing for production. Evonik says the investment in the Israel-based startup will allow it to expand its business beyond selling materials for the 3D printing market into services, enabling customers to test the printability of parts.
Founded by Omer Blaier, Elad Schiller and David Calderon in 2017, Castor Technologies has brought to market a software platform that works as a complement to CAD solutions, allowing customers to assess which parts (or assemblies) are well suited for additive manufacturing. The assessment is based on in depth technical and economic analysis of existing CAD files and makes it easier for companies to exploit the advantages of AM.
“Castor occupies an exciting space in the 3D printing market, helping companies overcome the hurdles associated with adopting the technology,” said Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik’s venture capital activities. “The investment perfectly complements our existing portfolio of 3D printing activities and is our second investment in Israel, one of the most active start-up ecosystems in the world.”
As an investor, Evonik will support Castor with its expertise in 3D printing materials with the aim of making the latter’s software platform suitable for all industries. With Evonik’s help, Castor customers will be able to identify parts not only for 3D printing but for high-performance polymer powders or filaments.
“With the software, broader adoption of 3D printing at a commercial scale becomes possible,” said Thomas Große-Puppendahl, head of the innovation growth field additive manufacturing at Evonik. “That will offer us better insights into customer needs and preferences.”
Even as a young company, Castor is proving its worth in the industry. To date, its software has already been adopted across various industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical and logistics. Most recently, the company revealed its software helped Stanley Black & Decker to integrate its first metal 3D printed production part into its workflow. Key to their success is that they are addressing a hurdle in the AM industry centered on the question of how and when to use 3D printing.
“Our vision is to be the manufacturers’ gateway to industrial 3D printing,” said Omer Blaier, CEO of Castor. “Evonik’s expertise in 3D printed polymers combined with Castor’s ability to identify unmet needs in material properties is the right combination to improve our customers’ products.”
In addition to Evonik, Castor also saw investments from Chartered Group and TAU Ventures, the venture capital fund of Tel-Aviv University.