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Hexagon announces winners of Sixth Sense innovation platform

With GelSight in first place, and CASTOR in second

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Hexagon has announced the winner of the second cohort of its Sixth Sense open innovation platform, which nurtures start-ups creating solutions to pressing manufacturing challenges.

Hexagon launched the Sixth Sense open innovation platform in 2022 to support the growing demand for disruptive innovation in manufacturing. The platform offers business insight, access to experts and mentorship, and exposure to Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division’s global customer and partner base, including Audi, Airbus, Meta, and Zimmer Biomet.

Following an intense 10-week program of product refinement and business development, which culminated in a pitching competition at the Hague, the Netherlands, GelSight was announced as the winner of the competition – where the team presented their company and progress to a panel of judges representing experts in technology, investment, and Hexagon leadership.

GelSight’s high-resolution elastomeric tactile sensor technology conforms ‘like human skin’ to the shape of an object on contact – capturing the topography of any material’s surface with greater accuracy than typical manual practices today.

Hexagon announces winners of Sixth Sense open innovation platform. With GelSight in first place, and CASTOR in second.
Sixth Sense Summit by Hexagon. Photo by Gerrit de Heus.

As part of the company’s winning package, the team will receive access to Hexagon’s extensive customer base to expand their business, integrate with Hexagon products, and further resources to globalize.

“Many inspections in the industry today are still performed by an inspector simply looking at or touching a part to identify, and sometimes measure, a defect. This is a subjective, non-repeatable, non-traceable process. Our gel material acts as artificial skin, providing extremely detailed and rapid surface characterization. We have digitized the entire workflow – our technology analyses the readings to give users detailed 3D visualization with up to 5 million data points that can help automate processes, cutting costs and time,” said Youssef Benmokhtar, CEO of GelSight. “Working with Sixth Sense has been such a memorable experience – we are proud and humbled to have been chosen and are looking forward to the future with Hexagon. The real work starts now.”

The competition’s runner-up was CASTOR, a company that uses intelligent 3D software to automate the process of analyzing product designs.

Hexagon announces winners of Sixth Sense open innovation platform. With GelSight in first place, and CASTOR in second.
Sixth Sense Summit by Hexagon. Photo by Gerrit de Heus.

“Participating in the Sixth Sense cohort has provided us with an exceptional opportunity to take our business to new heights. Our intelligent software analyses thousands of parts at once and identifies opportunities where additive manufacturing makes sense, from a technical, economical, and sustainable point of view. Whether a company’s initiatives are cost reduction, sustainability, supply chain resilience, or others, we can help engineers to scale up their additive manufacturing journey, and we look forward to furthering that journey with Hexagon,” said Angeliki Malizou, Director of Business Development at CASTOR.

Both GelSight and CASTOR will be given the resources by the multi-billion dollar technology giant to fast-track their solutions to commercial success.

“The market is in a state of flux. The industry is trying to contend with a shrinking global economy, sustainability requirements, and increasingly complex customer demands, which are all piling on the pressure. To us, however, this presents an opportunity. Constraints provide fertile ground for innovation, and start-ups know that better than anyone. In fact, the industry as a whole can benefit from the creativity and agility they bring to the innovation process, as demonstrated by the success of our cohorts. We are excited to continue working together with budding companies and will be recruiting for the next cohort soon,” said Parth Joshi, Chief Product and Technology Officer for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division.

The other participating start-ups included 3YOURMIND, Augmentir, JITbase, oculavis, Threedy, and Teratonics.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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