DE News Roundup: December 3, 2018

PTC acquires Frustum, TechSoft adds AR-VR support to HOOPS, hybrid Centaur-like robot, more

PTC acquires generative design software maker Frustum, TechSoft adds AR-VR support to HOOPS SDK, HP partners with Autodesk for 3D printing workflow, hybrid Centaur-like robot from Bostondynamics and Youbionic

PTC acquires Frustum

Design software and IoT tech company PTC announced it’s buying Frustum, a generative design software maker. PTC is known for, among other things, the Creo CAD and simulation software suite and Vuforia, an AR application development platform. PTC’s acquisition of Frustum reflects the design software companies’ growing interest in generative design—software with AI-like algorithms that can suggest the best shape or topology for products.

Frustum’s generative design software is known as Generate. With the purchase of Frustum, PTC now seems poised to compete with other rivals who already have generative design offerings, such as Autodesk and Siemens PLM. Read DE's coverage of the Frustum acquisition here.

TechSoft 3D HOOPS SDK Now Supports AR-VR

TechSoft, makers of the HOOPS Visualize SDK, has just announced it’s adding support for AR-VR—augmented reality and virtual reality—to its SDK. That means, using the HOOPS SDK, developers can create CAD model viewing apps for HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Rift and Meta 2 hardware and headsets.

HOOPS is integrated into many industry standard CAD programs, including those from Siemens PLM, Dassault Systems SolidWorks, and Autodesk. SolidWorks is among the early CAD vendors that added augmented reality in its eDrawings application, a free CAD file viewer.

Considering HOOPS’ critical role in the design software market, its AR-VR support opens a lot of new doors for developers to create programs and applications that let you easily bring CAD models into AR-VR environments for viewing, testing, collaboration, and simulation.

HP Autodesk Fusion

The 3D printing division of HP has picked up a number of big customers—including RecTech 3D and GE Transportation. The custom wins boost the HP Multijet Fusion 3D printers’ image as mass-production and manufacturing solutions.

RecTech 3D, a China-based industrial contract manufacturer using 3D printing for industrial scale operations. And GE Transportation is an equipment supplier to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power, and drilling industries.

HP has also struck a partnership with Autodesk, a design software maker known for its Netfabb and Autodesk Fusion 360 software, both of which support designing for 3D printing projects. The two announced an integrated end-to-end design-to-print workflow, to let you design something in Autodesk software, then produce it by 3D printing it in HP’s Multi Jet Fusion printers.

Boston Dynamics 3D printed Arm

What do you get when you combine MiniSpot, a dog-like robot from Bostondynamics, and a pair of robotic arms from Youbionic? You get something that looks like a headless Centaur, a half-horse, half-human mythological creature without a head.

The fusion of the two robots give you a new hybrid robot that can pour wine, among other things—a robotic Centaur who can stand in as a butler, if you will. Photos of the cojoined robot appeared on Twitter, posted by Youbionics.

Bostondynamics plans to start selling its Spotmini robot in 2019. So if you want to robot puppy to run around your home, please contact Bostondynamics. And if you’d like a robotic Centaur butler, also contact Youbionic.

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Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at or share your thoughts on this article at

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