Machinery : Additive Manufacturing : 3D Printer
Carbon is a 3D printing technology company helping businesses to develop better products and bring them to market in less time. Carbon is a venture-backed company headquartered in Redwood City, CA.Carbon has customers in 17 countries and is continuing to expand globally.
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Carbon Acquires ParaMatters to Expand Software Design Tools Optimized for Additive Manufacturing
Carbon is excited to announce the acquisition of ParaMatters, a SaaS-based company offering software for design and production via 3D printing across metal, polymer, and other materials and production systems. With the addition of ParaMatters, Carbon is expanding the capabilities of our idea-to-production platform with more robust design software and production optimization tools for additive manufacturing. ParaMatters software opens new capabilities in generative design for additive manufacturing, enabling companies to create better products in less time.
Ford Operates 3D Printers Autonomously
At Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center here, Javier is tasked with operating the 3D printers completely on his own. He is always on time, very precise in his movements, and he works most of the day. He never takes a lunch break or a coffee break—he doesn’t even ask for a paycheck. Javier is an autonomous mobile robot from KUKA, and he’s integral to the company’s development of an industry-first process to operate 3D printers with little or no human intervention.
Typically, different pieces of equipment from various suppliers are unable to interact because they do not run the same communication interface. Ford developed an application interface program that allows different pieces of equipment to speak the same language and send constant feedback to each other. For example, the Carbon 3D printer tells the KUKA autonomous mobile robot when the printed product will be finished, then the robot lets the printer know it has arrived and is ready to pick up parts. This innovative communication is what makes the whole process possible.
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Ford rolls out autonomous robot-operated 3D printers in vehicle production
Leveraging an in-house-developed interface, Ford has managed to get the KUKA-built bot to ‘speak the same language’ as its other systems, and operate them without human interaction. So far, the firm’s patent-pending approach has been deployed to 3D print custom parts for the Mustang Shelby GT500 sports car, but it could yet yield efficiency savings across its production workflow.
“This new process has the ability to change the way we use robotics in our manufacturing facilities,” said Jason Ryska, Ford’s Director of Global Manufacturing Technology Development. “Not only does it enable Ford to scale its 3D printer operations, it extends into other aspects of our manufacturing processes – this technology will allow us to simplify equipment and be even more flexible on the assembly line.”
At present, the company is utilizing its setup to make low-volume, custom parts such as a brake line bracket for the Performance Package-equipped version of its Mustang Shelby GT500. Moving forwards though, Ford believes its program could be applied to make other robots in its production line more efficient as well, and it has filed several patents, not just on its interface, but the positioning of its KUKA bot.
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Carbon Raises Over $260M in Growth Funding Round, Paving the Way for Global Expansion of its Digital Manufacturing Platform
Carbon, the world’s leading digital manufacturing platform, today announced it has raised over $260 million in growth funding co-led by Madrone Capital Partners and Baillie Gifford. New investors Temasek and Arkema joined the round with participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Fidelity Management & Research Company, adidas Ventures, and JSR Corporation. This brings Carbon’s total fundraising to more than $680 million.
Carbon plans to use this new capital to expand R&D efforts, establishing its first Advanced Development Facility (ADF), and to fuel international growth and expansion in Europe and Asia. The ADF will enable Carbon’s engineering teams to improve Carbon’s platform and workflows in scaled-up manufacturing environments to better support its customers and partners. These strategic areas of investment will allow Carbon to continue delivering on the promise of 3D printing by enabling its customers in industries including healthcare, automotive, and consumer goods to accelerate product innovation and create breakthrough products that are digitally manufactured at scale.