Asahi Kasei Boosts 3D Printing Clout in New Investment

Asahi Kasei Corporation has decided to invest in Castor Technologies Ltd., an Israeli startup specialized in the development of 3D printing software. Most importantly, Asahi Kasei will utilize Castor’s software and services. Hence, this will allow the Japanese company to pursue synergies between its computer-aided engineering (CAE) technical service for plastic and products and Castor’s software.

The 3D printing market has grown by an annual average of over 20% since 2015. Through the emergence of rapid prototyping and manufacturing, this annual growth rate is likely to rise to 24%. Thus, increasing the need for an optimized technical service and faster response times to customer requests.*

Asahi Kasei will invest in Castor Technologies to pursue synergies between its CAE technical service for plastic and products and Castor’s software

Applying 3D printing to conventional products enables an engineer to select the candidate parts and decides whether to use 3D printing or not. Sometimes, this modifies the shape to enhance 3D printability.

In contrast, CASTOR’s software with its proprietary algorithm can automatically select parts that are suitable for 3D printing. Particularly, this is true from CAD drawings of thousands of parts in a bill of materials (BOM), and propose shape modifications. Furthermore, optimization of customers’ manufacturing processes enables proper estimates of manufacturing lead times, costs, and CO2 emissions of the analyzed parts.

Automates More Advanced Simulations

Asahi Kasei has been providing comprehensive, high precision support for its customers’ product design and development through CAE technical service focused on engineering plastics. Meanwhile, CASTOR’s service for simple judgement of part formability and simulation of manufacturing costs will enable an even swifter response to customer inquiries. Applying CASTOR’s software and service prior to Asahi Kasei’s plastic CAE technical service will contribute to automate more advanced simulations.

Position of CASTOR’s service and Asahi Kasei’s service in the parts manufacturing flow
(Graphic: Business Wire)

“Through this investment, we will further investigate the synergies between CASTOR’s software and Asahi Kasei’s CAE expertise,” said Yukihiro Bann, Senior General Manager for Business Strategy and Marketing, Mobility & Industrial SBU at Asahi Kasei Corp. “We aim to provide our customers with more advanced and automated real-time simulations, as well as to expand the range of technical services that both companies can offer.”

* The 2022 3D Printing Trend Report published by HUBS B.V.