Two Year Hiatus – Part One

In my last post – 2 years and 3 months ago, I mentioned that I will be writing about software development for additive manufacturing. You might be wondering what made me busy during these years. The TL:DR version is – My cofounders and I developed a product, launched a startup and busy scaling it across the globe.

For a longer version in a series of three posts, keep reading on:

I started developing proof of concepts (PoC) for additive manufacturing software. These PoCs got good support from our industrial partners in the SoftDREAM consortium. They encouraged us to collect these PoCs and make a software product.

Here is a glimpse of various interesting concepts we presented to the public:

1. Straight Skeleton – Github

Straight Skeleton Algorithm by Felkel is an interesting concept. You can read his paper to know more about it. When I was about to implement the paper in Python, I found Botffy’s GitHub repo. I went through his code and understood his implementation. I thought explaining his code along with my handwritten notes might be a good way for others to understand the code and logic. You can find the code, notes and illustrations as Jupyter notebook here.

2. Path Planning in Robotic Additive Manufacturing

During September 2020, Franziska Aschersleben, Emil Johansson and I explained about some of the main aspects of path planning in a webinar here.

3. Process Simulation in Robotic Additive Manufacturing

During October 2020, my colleagues Emil Johansson, Sérgio Costa and Fabien Poulhaon explained about process simulation for both polymer and metallic parts here.

4. Real Time Monitoring of Robotic Additive Manufacturing

Real time Emil Johansson, Guénolé Bras and I explained about real time monitoring and how it can be used in robotic additive manufacturing for both polymer and metallic parts monitoring here.

Beginning of Startup and Validation

After so much feedback, four of us (Emil Johansson, Henri Bernard, Guénolé Bras and I) in the consortium got together and thought hard about launching a startup. We laid the groundwork for startup formation like validating the business idea, funding runway and how to transition from our current job to startup. It was a tumultuous period – getting approval from our respective institutions to continue working part time on our venture in 2021 while coordinating the second year of the SoftDREAM project. None of us had experience in launching and running the company, so we had to educate ourselves from various sources – mentors and online resources.

We decided to enter the BoostUP competition from EIT Manufacturing to validate our business idea. Another main reason to participate is the prize money of €25,000. It will help us cover the initial costs of our startup. We worked hard for the next 3 months to think about various aspects of startup launch, transition from PoCs to product and of course about winning the competition. Our efforts paid off; we won first prize in the competition. My cofounder Emil Johansson was left speechless when they announced the results.

Apart from winning the prize, it made us more confident to launch the startup. We decided on the name ADAXIS. The ADA part of the name was chosen to honor the first programmer, Lady Ada Lovelace and AXIS part is for the six axis degrees of freedom of Robot. Our product is to simplify robot programming for 3d printing. Our startup registration was approved on 5th January 2021 and ADAXIS was officially launched. In all 2020, was the beginning of exciting times for me.

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