Oqton in 2022: A Year in Review
The year has flown by in a heartbeat, and, for us, it’s the most eventful one on record. As we edge ever so close to the end of 2022, we cast a glance back and take stock of the most significant events and achievements.
It's been an extraordinary year in terms of announcing new partnerships, introducing a record number of customers to Oqton, and releasing advanced product developments. An extended portfolio of manufacturing software solutions has been brought together under the Oqton brand, and we now support production workflow automation, 3D scanning, autonomous robotic welding, and simulation-driven additive build preparation. We’ve tightened our focus on these solutions to ensure our manufacturing customers, big and small, could see a meaningful improvement in their productivity. In the past 12 months, we’re delighted to have taken significant strides towards that aim.
Creating an open software company
As a quick reminder, one of 2021’s most significant events was Oqton’s acquisition by 3D Systems, which ushered in a myriad of changes. 3D Systems’ software, 3DXpert, Amphyon, and the Geomagic portfolio – Design X, Control X, Freeform, Wrap, Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS – and D2P, were united under Oqton, for us to develop and support. Integrating these products into one family was our priority for 2022, and we’ve set up dedicated and focused product development teams that are ensuring these solutions are continuously improved. Following the acquisition, we’ve been 100% committed to developing manufacturing software solutions that are openly compatible with all brands and types of hardware.
This year we’ve increased the cadence of updates for many of our products. New and enhanced tools, important bug fixes, and better user experience are just a few of the refinements that we now deliver on a more regular basis. In addition to bi-weekly updates to the Manufacturing OS, 3DXpert and Amphyon have started quarterly new releases, and Geomagic Design X and Control X are updated every six months.
Another notable software development is the launch of Design X Essentials, a more affordable version of Geomagic’s reverse engineering software. The new version is ideal for those working with components of lower complexity or requiring reverse engineering workflows on an ad-hoc basis. As this software reduces the barrier to entry, it’s a particularly appealing option for users of affordable industrial scanners.
Building strong partnerships
Partnerships are vitally important to us as they help enhance the depth of integration of our software with hardware and make our products available to more people worldwide. This year we forged many new relationships.
For example, in the dental market, we partnered with a leading global supplier of metal 3D printing solutions, Eplus3D, who made our AI-based Manufacturing OS platform available with its machines. With this integration, dental labs will be able to reduce the pressure on their technicians and operators thanks to our workflow automation and ensure full traceability of parts.
Successful partnerships like this have been instrumental in the rocketing growth of our dental solution. Today, our Manufacturing OS is used by our dental customers to produce over two million parts annually, and we expect this to double by end of the next quarter. Thank you to our many loyal customers for trusting Oqton to automate your dental production workflows.
In the arena of industrial additive manufacturing, the all-in-one software 3DXpert has become a member of the renowned Altair Partner Alliance. 3DXpert has joined Amphyon as the second Oqton solution available through Altair’s offering, allowing the users of the platform to prepare, optimise and 3D print high-quality industrial parts.
With the rise of high-mix low volume productions in welding, the need for faster robot programming has become clearer than ever before. To help manufacturers meet this demand, this year we were excited to commercially launch our AI-based Manufacturing OS for autonomous robotic welding. This solution creates welding robot programs completely automatically, without the need for welders to learn about robots or 3D geometry. Further to this new product introduction, we signed a partnership with Valk Welding, a turnkey provider and developer of welding robot systems for small to medium-production requirements.
In another step towards making 3D metrology more accessible, we partnered with Scantech, a world leader in the development, manufacturing, and sales of 3D scanners. The combination of Scantech’s advanced 3D scanners and Geomagic Control X metrology software will make it easier to identify defects and ensure quality in many segments, including aerospace, rail and transportation, machining, healthcare, and education.
We closed the year with a collaboration on a unique e-commerce-enabling solution for manufacturers. By joining forces with DigiFabster, we’ve combined their instant quoting, e-commerce interface and billing functions with our platform’s manufacturing operating capabilities to deliver a complete solution that helps manufacturers automate their entire production workflow, including additive and subtractive technologies.
A bigger and better tradeshow presence
From small Open Houses to the biggest manufacturing tradeshows, events hold a special place in our hearts because they allow us to talk to our customers and partners in person.
This was an exceptional year, as our teams attended over 15 events worldwide and stood out with remarkable demo parts, engaging talks and masterclasses, and sleek booth design. Among this year’s most memorable are IMTS in the US, where we presented at our biggest booth yet, and Formnext in Germany, where our distinguished experts got to meet up and nerd out with the AM community.
Oqton's team at IMTS 2022, in our biggest booth yet.
Embracing hackathons to foster collaboration and creativity
If you visited us at major manufacturing tradeshows this year, you may have experienced the virtual walkthrough of a production workflow with Oqton’s Manufacturing OS. This is a concept that sprung from one of our Hackathons, which we organise a few times a year to encourage collaboration among our teams and spark new ideas.
To this day we’ve had five sessions, each with a different theme. Oqton staff form teams, develop concepts, and then get together for a day to produce a prototype. Since its beginning, we’ve had almost 40 innovative and inspiring projects, and the virtual walkthrough of our additive production is one of those that has evolved into a great demonstrator of our technology for tradeshows.
Looking forward to the year ahead
As we wrap up this walk down memory lane, we can proudly say we’ve grown and progressed – and that a lot of work lies ahead. We’re committed to accelerating manufacturing with software solutions that are more connected, intelligent and automated. To make this a reality, in 2023 we will be working closely with our customers to understand how we can automate their processes. From robotic welding to additive production, 3D scanning and dental lab automation, our mission is to reduce repetitive tasks and enable agile and adaptive production environments. We look forward to continuing to innovate with all our customers and partners in 2023!