Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living recently announced the I AM Tomorrow Challenge, an acceleration program for startups and scaleups focused on data analytics, AI and other advanced software solutions for large-scale 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. Launched in collaboration with HighTechXL, Hexagon, and Ultimaker, the challenge offers select companies a spot in a ten-week acceleration program designed to launch or mature their businesses. After the acceleration program, participating startups may be eligible for funding or a partnership with DSM.

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‘Beyond 3D printing’ is the theme of this year’s purmundus challenge, the ideas competition for imaginative, aesthetic and trend-setting product ideas and innovative projects. Once again in 2019, the competition will serve as the international trend radar for creative developments in additive manufacturing. The winners and finalists of the purmundus challenge will be appearing in a special showcase at Formnext 2019 over all four days of the show.

Having taken off to become the world’s leading exhibition for additive manufacturing and modern industrial production in recent years, Formnext continues this development at a record pace in 2019. In March, 518 exhibitors have already registered for Formnext this year. This is another significant increase compared to the same time the year before. As such, the amount of space that Formnext 2019 will cover has already exceeded the final size of Formnext 2018.

In a move that will expand the precision casting leader's footprint outside the US, Signicast, a Form Technologies company, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire CIREX, a European investment casting specialist based in the Netherlands, from Amsterdam based investment companies Convent and Nedvest.

JEC Innovation Awards celebrate the fruitful cooperation between players of the composite community. Over the past 15 years, the JEC Innovation Awards have brought in 1,800 companies worldwide. 177 companies and 433 partners have been rewarded for the excellence of their composite innovations. The JEC Innovation Awards reward composites champions, based on criteria such as partner involvement in the value chain, technicality or commercial applications of innovations.

Printed with Studio System, this fuel atomizer is radically redesigned to function in a more fuel-efficient manner than traditional metalworking means. (Photo: Business Wire)

Companies Look to Create a Digital Marketplace for the Global Construction Industry

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BuildingConnected for $275 million net of cash acquired. This acquisition will add bid management, risk analysis and other preconstruction solutions to Autodesk's construction portfolio. In addition, BuildingConnected's network presents an opportunity to create a robust digital marketplace for construction goods and services.

Companies Aim to Accelerate Construction Productivity

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has completed the acquisition of PlanGrid, a leading provider of construction productivity software, for $875 million net of cash. Autodesk funded the transaction using a combination of cash on hand and a short-term loan.

Autodesk and PlanGrid have developed complementary construction software. Autodesk's BIM 360 construction management platform connects the people, data and workflows on construction projects by supporting informed decision-making throughout the project lifecycle. PlanGrid software lets general contractors, subcontractors and owners in commercial, heavy civil and other industries benefit from real-time access to project plans, punch lists, project tasks, progress photos, daily field reports, submittals and more.

"PlanGrid has excelled at building a product portfolio and go-to-market engine for satisfying the needs of how project teams use critical project documentation to streamline everyday construction tasks," said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk CEO. "I'm excited to welcome the PlanGrid team and their customers to the Autodesk family. By combining our capabilities, Autodesk and PlanGrid can provide construction customers with immediate benefits and help them prepare for new and innovative ways of working, thanks to technology that improves the design, construction and operations phases."

Autodesk plans to integrate workflows between PlanGrid's software and both Autodesk Revit and Autodesk BIM 360 for a seamless exchange of information between all project members. For more information, see the PlanGrid FAQ and video.

Customer Perspectives

DPR Construction is a commercial general contractor specializing in highly complex and sustainable projects. "One of the biggest challenges in the construction industry is data flow – how you get the most current and accurate information to the right people, at the right time," said Atul Khanzode, chief technology officer, DPR Construction. "We're excited about this acquisition because it will improve the way information can be shared on projects, and that leads to greater productivity and predictability. Using BIM 360 has made our project planning better; we're able to reliably plan, forecast and measure project tasks that support lean construction practices and reduce waste. And, we're using PlanGrid to help everyone in the field build off the most current data set."

Clayco is a design-build firm ranked in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 100 known for delivering innovative building solutions for industrial and warehouse facilities, mission-critical buildings and corporate offices using advanced technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM). Bob Clark, Clayco founder and CEO, said, "When a construction site relies on paper-based processes, they risk having outdated documents that could result in delays. That's why we chose BIM 360 and PlanGrid to help us digitize every step of the construction process to accelerate project delivery, reduce risk and increase productivity. This acquisition brings two complementary offerings under one roof, so I'm excited to see how Autodesk and PlanGrid will work together to encourage collaboration between the project team and owners from the time a building is conceived, all the way through to handover."

Business Outlook

As the acquisition closed on December 19, 2018, only a partial quarter of PlanGrid's financial results will be reflected in Autodesk's fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, ending January 31, 2019. Thus, the company expects PlanGrid to contribute slightly to revenue and be modestly negative for profitability and cashflows for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. For fiscal year 2020, Autodesk expects PlanGrid to contribute approximately $100 million in ARR and be slightly dilutive to profitability and cash flow. Inclusive of the transaction, the company is maintaining its free cash flow goal for fiscal 2020.

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