B2B manufacturing software-as-a-service start-up 3D Spark has closed its first round of funding, securing growth opportunities and planning security for its customers for the next two years. The funds are to be invested in strengthening the team, accelerating the further development of the 3D Spark platform and expanding support, among other things, in order to be able to guarantee an excellent range of services with industrial standards. beyourpilot founding advisor Felix Krieg has been assisting the founders with advice and support for over one and a half years.
The start-up 3D Spark wants to maximise the efficiency of industrial production of components and assemblies. To this end, the founders have developed software that automatically identifies potential for cost and resource savings in manufacturing. Manufacturing companies are constantly on the lookout for the cheapest, fastest and most sustainable solution for the production of components, otherwise they run the risk of wasting money, time, material and energy and being left behind by their market competitors. However, identifying the most appropriate process for each component requires immense process engineering expertise and tedious manual analysis.
The 3D Spark software automates this identification similar to a “Check24 comparison calculator for components”. Based on 3D CADs, 2D drawings and metadata, it identifies the cheapest, fastest and most sustainable manufacturing process for each component, currently with a focus on industrial 3D printing. In this way, the software supports industrial employees worldwide in making smarter production decisions and thus makes a measurable contribution to more sustainable, crisis-proof and efficient production.
Long-term planning security for industrial customers guaranteed
“We are very pleased about the trust placed in us by Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg and Fraunhofer Technologie-Transfer Fonds. For our customers, we not only want to offer the most innovative solutions, but also be a stable and reliable partner that offers long-term planning security. This is exactly what this capital increase ensures, so that potential customers can now enter into a partnership with us with a clear conscience,” says Ruben Meuth, co-CEO and co-founder of 3D Spark.
“3D Spark’s software not only allows customers to quickly decide on the fit of 3D printing processes, but also provides a general comparison with traditional processes. As 3D printing processes become more efficient and cheaper, this technology is also becoming more relevant for series products. The 3D Spark team convinced us with its excellent, technical know-how and its previous, well-known reference customers,” says Dörte Bunge from Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg.
“We have known and observed the founding team for quite a long time. We were impressed by the continuous and structured further development of the technology and the business model, which led to the company being able to sell software licences to well-known customers even at this very early stage of the company – with quantifiably high benefits for the users. We thus see 3D Spark on a very good path towards an excellent “product-market fit”, explains Jörg Wamser from the Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF).
Manufacturing service providers and OEMs benefit from considerable savings
OEMs such as Alstom and ZF use 3D Spark to reduce production costs and delivery times while increasing supply chain security and the performance of their components. As a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility solutions, Alstom has already saved over €1.8 million in costs and 20,000 days in delivery time with 3D printed fixtures, spare parts and series applications using 3D Spark software, and plans to save over €5 million in 2023. Manufacturing service providers like MetShape analyse manufacturability for twelve 3D printing processes and calculate production costs in seconds, which speeds up quoting many times over.
3D Spark dreams of a future without waste in production
“We dream of a production without waste. Billions of components are produced worldwide every day – many of them with higher costs, delivery times, material consumption and CO2 emissions than necessary. Manufacturing companies often simply lack the necessary transparency to select the cheapest, fastest, safest and most sustainable production process for each component. In order to create this transparency, we will continuously expand our technology portfolio beyond 3D printing processes and thus offer a comprehensive process comparison for all relevant manufacturing processes,” says Dr.-Ing. Fritz Lange, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of 3D Spark.
About 3D Spark GmbH
In the summer of 2021, the founding team received an EXIST start-up grant from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and also won the “Scientific Innovation Award 2021 of the Rotary Club Hamburg-Haake”. In September 2021, 3D Spark GmbH was founded. In the summer of 2022, the startup won a national founder prize at the BMWK’s “Gründerwettbewerb Digitale Innovationenden” and also received InnoRampUp funding from IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH. 3D Spark will have a stand at the world’s leading trade fair for 3D printing (formnext) from 15-18 November 2022 and won a place in the AI Accelerator Programme of the AI.STARTUP.HUB in autumn 2022. The team consists of eight members and aims to grow further. The 3D Spark platform is available now for OEMs and manufacturing service providers.
Until 03.03.2023, another investor can participate via a second closing pari-passu.
About the Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg GmbH
Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg GmbH invests venture capital in young innovative companies in order to strengthen the Hamburg start-up scene and contribute to the development of promising companies. The programme provides for open investments in companies up to a maximum of one million euros per company. Investors in the fund are the City of Hamburg and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in equal shares. The fund is managed by IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Investitions- und Förderbank in Hamburg.
About the Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF)
The Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund (FTTF) is an independent early-stage venture capital investor for young deep-tech companies of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the first such fund in Germany. With a fund volume of 60 million euros, FTTF finances start-ups in very early stages and can invest up to five million euros per company. FTTF is backed by the two fund investors Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and European Investment Fund (EIF). Since its inception in 2019, FTTF has invested in more than 30 startups pursuing innovative business models based on a broad range of Fraunhofer technologies.