Today Berlin startup 3YOURMIND and Phillips Corp. Federal Division announced a partnership with the US Marine Corps System Command's Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell (AMOC) to enrich its digital additive manufacturing capabilities.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, makes it possible to create 3D objects directly from a computer design file such as a 3D CAD file. These are fast to make and use fewer materials than their traditional counterparts.
3YOURMIND is an on-demand manufacturing software platform that empowers companies to identify and produce parts as needed.
The platform analyses CAD data and develops a library of files categorised by technical and economic metrics. These metrics help determine if a part is suitable for additive manufacturing and what type of time or cost advantages can be applied.
This means OEMs, operating companies, and contract manufacturers can create digital inventories of qualified parts that reduce costs, shorten production lead times, and secure more efficient and agile operations.
Furthermore, spare parts can be produced rapidly, including those required for legacy equipment that its original maker is no longer manufacturing.
I spoke to William Cuervo, 3YOURMIND's North American VP, to learn more about the partnership.
The contract is worth $2.5 million and follows a successful first-year contract which validated 3YOURMIND's part identification capabilities by screening over 10,000 parts and demonstrating connectivity to other software systems utilised by the Marine Corps System Command's Digital Manufacturing Data Vault.
How does a startup end up working with the marine corps and Phillips?
Cuervo explained that the arrangement stems from a collaboration with Phillips and a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement(CRADA). "This written agreement facilitates collaborative R&D between federal laboratories and non-federal entities."
Both parties to a CRADA may provide personnel, facilities, equipment or other resources, but the government may not fund non-federal entities under a CRADA.
According to Cuervo, the agility of being a startup with the ability to move in a lot of different directions and different capacities simultaneously means being the antithesis of a large industrial complex:
"The US government has a refined way of doing things for good reason. Something achievable for us in three months might not be feasible for the government in a short period.
It's about bridging this fundamental difference in culture.
You've got to sit back and learn sometimes and figure out why these things take so long and sometimes be a part of the change that can help improve those processes. And sometimes give our stakeholders on the customer side the help they need to bring on change and improve operations. "
Most industrial enterprises undertake an ongoing process of digital transformation where legacy equipment sits next to connected machines.
Cuevo explained that often manual, paper-intensive processes contrast with high-end new technology and "more modern advanced manufacturing technologies, including modern toolsets like automated water jetting and being able to cut metal components with water, and advanced CNC machining."
The company has previously partnered with The US Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific to develop a seamless, digital production workflow that enables distributed manufacturing. It also works with industries like oil and gas and transport (including Deutsche Bahn and CNCF), responsible for providing critical infrastructure resources. When equipment is inoperable, the effects can have a trickle-down effect that impacts consumers, including higher energy costs and restricted mobility.
3YOURMIND has raised $32.9 million in funding over six rounds, most recently raising Series A funding in April 2021.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity for 3YOURMIND and Phillips Corp. Federal Division to enrich the quality of life of the warfighter by addressing these capability gaps and contribute to the operational readiness that the U.S. Marine Corps prides itself on."