Oqton looks quite a bit different than the last time we spoke with them.
The San Francisco company produces a cloud system for managing additive manufacturing operations, which includes an AI component for advanced applications. Their product, FactoryOS, is said to be an “AI-Powered Production System for intelligent factories”, and it provides a variety of functions, including order management, quoting, job setup, topology optimization, automated support removal and much more.
Basically it’s an extendable framework to which you can add whatever functionality you require. For example, I witnessed a demo of a simple quality control 3D scanning system they had put together as a demonstration of the product’s flexibility. We showed several other advanced applications in our original story.
It’s a fascinating and powerful system, but it seems to have changed quite a bit since we last encountered them back in 2019.
For starters, they received a huge US$40M investment in 2021, and last September they were acquired outright by 3D Systems.
At the time of acquisition I had questions about where this may lead. Evidently it led to consolidation, because at Rapid+TCT the company had an enormous booth that featured not just Oqton, but a number of previously separate 3D print software products from 3D Systems that now integrate with and operate under the Oqton umbrella. These include Geomagic Design X, 3D Spring, Amphyon and 3DXpert, 3D Systems’ main job preparation software.
An Oqton spokesperson told us they now have a very strong team with 300 engineers under management to continue developing the software. That includes the several tools mentioned above, and thus there should be very strong integration between all of them under Oqton.
Oqton insists their products are vendor agnostic, and they support a wide variety of 3D print gear beyond those from 3D Systems. They say the software is used by Stratasys, HP, EOS, Altair, FARO, SLM, Artec 3D, Shining 3D and Keyence.
“Increase innovation and efficiency with a single, technology-neutral and hardware agnostic Manufacturing OS that connects your applications and machines across multiple sites. Combining artificial intelligence with machine learning and IoT, you can track every action with a digital thread for complete traceability and visibility from order to delivery.”
I do wonder how that will play out in the future, however, as 3D Systems could be tempted to give their products a bit more benefit under Oqton than those of their competitors. However, they still operate a separate web site and their booth at Rapid+TCT was completely separate and distant from the 3D Systems booth.
At some point they will bump into competing manufacturing operating systems that could complicate matters, but time will tell.
Via Oqton and 3D Systems