Wikifactory, an online collaboration platform for physical product design and development, has completed a “total upgrade” that it says will enable users the ability to make anything with nothing but a laptop and an internet connection.
Wikifactory says its new Collaborative CAD Tool with in-built chat will “transform the way products are made”, enabling designers, engineers, manufacturers and enterprise to collaborate remotely on virtually any CAD model, from concept through to finished prototype.
The new Collaborative CAD Tool allows product developers of all skill levels in virtually any industry to explore, review and discuss 3D models in over 30 file formats in real-time.
With a brand-new annotation system, geometry explorer, and advanced visualisation settings for multiple solid views and cross-sections, Wikifactory says it is making expensive product lifecycle management (PLM) software accessible and affordable to everyone, opening up industry for wider participation.
Wikifactory, which launched its Beta in May 2019, has recently closed its latest $3 million funding round, securing more than $4.5 million in seed funding to date from impact investors across Europe and the US.
With the investment, the company will build a quality-assured manufacturing marketplace to connect three growing networks of Big Industry into one affordable and secure Market Network.
Additionally, with mirrored servers in China to open up access to its hardware capital Shenzhen, Wikifactory is available in four languages, and is set to expand to 20 after Series A.
More than 70,000 product developers, growing at a rate of 20 percent month on month, from across 190 countries are currently using Wikifactory to build robotics, electric vehicles and drones, agri-tech and sustainable energy appliances, lab equipment and 3D printers, smart furniture and biotech fashion materials as well as medical supplies including vital PPE and ventilators when there were global supply shortages.
Nicolai Peitersen, co-founder and executive chairman of Wikifactory, says: “Wide-scale global collaboration to make physical things is happening both for open-source and for proprietary product development.
“This isn’t a marginal economic development. The global manufacturing industry output, worth $35 trillion, is finally having its web moment.
“What we’re seeing is a profound and systemic change in the way that digital transformation is impacting the production system. Online collaboration and distributed production is becoming mainstream and this is a much bigger transformation than Industry 4.0. We’re calling it the internet of production.”
For the Wikifactory community, the launch of the new Collaborative CAD Tool makes it even simpler and easier to share progress updates, critical to speeding up the prototyping and production phase.
Peitersen says: “Today, as global supply chains are increasingly vulnerable, the need for a viable, alternative online infrastructure to prototype and produce products locally, to a high standard, and sustainably, has never been more relevant and necessary.
“A new distributed model of global innovation for local production not only opens up access to the production industry and removes the barriers to start and scale a product business, leading to new socio-economic impetus, but also incubates a new economic model that demands less shipping, less costly inventories, and which might even change our consumption habits altogether.”