Finding Success as a Startup: Nexus3 Pivot’s Business to Manufacture Face Shields
Nexus3 Manufacturing and Engineering is an additive manufacturing (AM) startup focused on providing engineering and manufacturing services for the aerospace, automotive, medical, industrial, and consumer markets. The company was created by 3 partners with a passion for additive manufacturing and the possibilities that lie within the future of the technology.
At the beginning of 2020, Nexus3 had the goal to produce end use parts, tooling, and prototypes largely for aerospace companies. Unfortunately, as the world came face to face with a pandemic, Nexus3 knew they needed to switch gears quickly. With business slowing down in the aerospace industry, Nexus3’s founders saw an opportunity to help the global situation. They quickly decided to temporarily pivot their business in order to create face shields. This would be a bold step, but the team was determined to adapt and make way for an innovative solution.
The next step for Nexus3 was to find the right CAD solution, Marc Syrkel, Vice President of Engineering said, “We needed a low cost CAD solution that would allow us to design the face shields, but it also needed to be powerful enough to work for aerospace once we transitioned back to our original plan.” The team had previous experience using PTC Creo and Solidworks, but were particularly interested in learning more about Autodesk Fusion 360, which they had learned about at a recent MIT Advanced Manufacturing class. As a leader in technology and training, MIT’s program for Additive Manufacturing is aimed at helping drive innovation across the product lifecycle. The program utilizes Autodesk products, which include Fusion 360 and NetFabb. Through a quick search for an Autodesk reseller, Nexus3 submitted a Contact Us form on KETIV’s website and were connected with Richard Ramos, a KETIV Account Executive.
"Learning about the partnership and local support that would be provided by KETIV, we knew it was the right fit."
The Right Partner
KETIV walked the Nexus3 team through their options, which included Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360. The team considered Autodesk’s flagship product, Inventor, but decided that Fusion 360’s cloud file management, pricing and simulation and generative design tools were the best fit for their startup needs. Other benefits included, the all-in-one Parametric, Direct and Freeform modeling capabilities of Fusion 360 and as Marc stated, “Learning about the partnership and local support that would be provided by KETIV, we knew it was the right fit.”
Richard Ramos helped guide the Nexus3 team by introducing them to the Fusion 360 for Startups Autodesk program. The program grants free Fusion 360 licenses to qualifying startup companies. Fusion 360 includes all the features and functionality needed to take products from concept through design to manufacturing. Within a couple weeks, Nexus3 was approved and began working within Fusion 360. Marc said, “Fusion 360 was simple to use and allowed us to model our first face shield in just 3 days.
This even included the learning time from online sources, such as KETIV’s Autodesk Virtual Academy (AVA).” AVA is KETIV’s free weekly webinar series that offers comprehensive training, as well as tips and tricks on how to use Autodesk software. Trainings are held live and uploaded on YouTube for a convenient and flexible learning experience. Marc pointed out that one particular training video that was helpful for them was, Designing a Model from Scratch for Fusion 360.
Nexus3 looks forward to providing face shields to various industries affected by Covid-19, including but not limited to medical workers and dentists. As the aerospace market recovers, Nexus3 is excited to use Fusion 360 for more complex designs and to utilize KETIV AVA resources to learn more about the included simulation and generative design tools within Fusion 360.