Altair snaps up Click2Cast
Altair just announced that it has acquired Click2Cast, adding both casting simulation and an office in Barcelona to its aresenal. Spanish Click2Cast developed what it calls a “revolutionary” mesh generator that begins with imported STL files, so that users prep their models for simulation without mesh generation. I have seen C2C (as the hip kids call it) in action, and can say that it is fast and easy and has great potential for use in all sorts of applications, like 3D printing, where there is a need to simulate but perhaps not a great deal of experience in the finer points of mesh optimization. Click2Cast has been active in vehicle light-weighting and other areas that are perfect targets for 3D printing in addition to more traditional subtractive techniques. Earlier this year, C2C partnered with voxeljet on a proof of concept to ensure that lightweighted parts would solidify as expected.
But C2C’s current commercial objective is to improve the quality of manufacturing parts. C2C’s casting process simulation tools are meant to optimize components to avoid casting defects like air entrapment and porosity by simulating how a mold is filled. The user imports the STL version of the part, sets the location of the material inflow, defines temperature, material and other parameters, and launches the calculation. The output is a typical CAE heatmap, a movie showing how the material flows into the mold, identifying trapped air and other defect-causing problems. Since molds are made once and used for many parts in a production run, getting this right is crucial.
C2C has been an Altair Hyperworks partner since 2013, so the companies know one another well. With this deal, Altair will acquire 100% of Click2Cast’s technology and, it appears, all employees will join Altair.
The press release announcing the acquisition says that C2C will be made available through Altair’s Hyperworks and solidThinking brands. Adding C2C to solidThinking is an interesting idea, and takes a user from concept through manufacturing (for casting, at any rate) in an easy and natural workflow. Structural integrity with Inspire, interesting forms with Evolve and manufacturing with C2C.
Altair CEO Jim Scapa is quoted as saying that Altair plans to “leverage [the C2C team’s] expertise and technology to develop new solutions for synthesizing innovative structures optimized for both performance and manufacturing feasibility.” That’s press release-speak for “look for the C2C concepts to grow further and expand into other areas”.
Terms of the deal were not announced, but I would imagine it’s relatively small.