What do milk, storage batteries and 3D printers have in common?
Not much, if anything. Except the teams behind these products all use Onshape to get work done. Work that could shakeup the plant-based milk sector, make renewable energy possible, or reinvent rapid prototyping.
They say any publicity is good publicity. Luckily for these companies, it’s all good. Let’s take a look at why these innovative teams that use Onshape are making headlines.
Numilk Looks to Cloud-Native CAD for Sustainability Targets
If you’re a fan of ABC’s Shark Tank, you may have heard of Numilk, which secured $2 million from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in a March 2021 episode.
If you haven’t heard, Numilk develops and designs machines that dispense plant-based milk products, like almond and oat milk. One type of machine is a grocery kiosk, which lets customers fill up a reusable bottle with the plant-based milk of their choice in 30 seconds, Newsweek reported. The customer can also add maple syrup for added sweetness.
The other products include a smaller, stainless-steel professional machine for baristas at coffee shops and a home machine, which is still in development.
So far, Numilk has 28 kiosks in five states and partnered with Whole Foods in 2019, according to its Shark Tank profile.
Numilk, founded in 2018 by New York entrepreneurs Joe Savino and Ari Tolwin, is part of a $21 billion global dairy alternatives market that aims to fulfill the demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable products.
Numilk developers began using Onshape in August 2020 for several reasons, including low IT overhead, version control, file management and collaboration capabilities.
“I have been very impressed with the level of support and training provided by Onshape,” Numilk Director of Engineering William Suh, told our team. “I appreciate the commitment you all have made to helping your customers.”
Form Energy Working to Build Powerful Storage Batteries
One challenge for renewable energy is the ability to store excess electricity that could provide ongoing power after the sun sets or when the winds calm down.
Form Energy Inc. strives to solve this problem with battery storage technology that could enable the power grid to provide renewable electricity 24/7, 365 days a year.
As governments move toward carbon-lowering technologies, these types of batteries are at the forefront of creating a sustainable future.
The battery is built using iron, making it relatively inexpensive compared to other types of batteries that need rare, hard-to-get materials, like nickel, cobalt, lithium and manganese.
Batteries that rely on those more rare materials cost about $50 to $80 per kilowatt-hour of storage, while an iron battery, Form Energy believes, would spend less than $20 per kilowatt-hour of storage, The Wall Street Journal reported.
For some development processes, the Somerville, Massachusetts-based company uses Onshape.
“Onshape is so portable, stable and reliable,” a Form Energy employee wrote on review forum Software Advice. “It is a solid modeler.”
Formlabs is Pushing Boundaries in 3D Printing
Formlabs, another Somerville-based company, builds professional-level 3D printers for a plethora of industries, including engineering, manufacturing, dental, jewelry, education, entertainment, health care and audiology.
Specifically, Formlabs develops different types of 3D printers that use a laser to harden a resin material into the final object. The company also offers a library of materials along with post-processing systems.
During the onset of the pandemic, Formlabs machines were able to produce over 20 million coronavirus test swabs, the Boston Globe reported.
The company was able to quickly pivot when supply chains were disrupted in 2020 by digitizing workflows such as designing in Onshape, Formlabs’ SLS Engineering Lead Ian Ferguson wrote in a VentureBeat column.
“With Onshape, sharing designs for specific parts within the context of the whole assembly was an easy and secure way to spend less time on technical drawings,” Ferguson said.