Fictiv

Fictiv (4)

Fictiv announced from the Intel Capital Global Summit that it closed a $15 million Series B led by Sinovation Ventures with participation from Accel, Intel Capital, Bill Gates, FJ Labs, Tandon Group and the Stanford-StartX Fund. The company also demonstrated new workflow optimization tools and unveiled offices in Guangzhou, China.

At a time when manufacturing has become global but remains rooted in outdated time-intensive processes, Fictiv’s modern approach has proven to be a disruptive force in hardware manufacturing. Used by Silicon Valley innovators in electric and autonomous automobiles, medical robotics and consumer electronics, Fictiv has become the trusted partner to bring new products to market faster.

Fictiv CEO and Co-Founder Dave Evans underscored the unreasonably high barriers that designers and engineers have historically faced when bringing a product to market. “Fictiv is creating a new world order in which software is democratizing access to fast, high quality manufacturing,” said Evans. “We are thrilled to have these global investors on board, helping us reimagine manufacturing as more efficient and effective for both engineers and manufacturers.”

This new round brings Fictiv’s total venture funding raised to $25 million. The additional infusion of capital will be used to grow Fictiv’s global network of manufacturers and to introduce new digital tools geared towards automating and optimizing workflows for hardware teams and manufacturers.

“Fictiv is obsessed with continuous improvement,” explained Fictiv CXO and Co-Founder Nate Evans. “By capturing and analyzing customer data, Fictiv is uniquely able to guide customers through the manufacturing process, remove inefficiencies, and help teams make better decisions. The intelligence built into the Fictiv system provides an unparalleled customer experience.”

Fictiv’s software-driven approach supports the entire product development cycle - from prototype to production. It allows hardware teams that are under pressure, juggling multiple projects against tight timelines, to significantly reduce time spent sourcing and managing vendors, securing quotes, and clarifying requirements.

Key features of the platform include:

  • A private workspace where hardware teams collaborate on projects, provide design feedback, resolve issues, and manage file revisions;
  • Intelligent algorithms that power automated quoting and manufacturability feedback to shave weeks off a typical project schedule;
  • Smart matching system to instantly assess capacity and capabilities for the pairing of projects to manufacturers;
  • A thoroughly vetted network of over 200 worldwide manufacturers to support requests ranging from local rapid prototyping to overseas production projects;
  • A centralized online system for operations teams to track and manage orders, schedules, and shipments;
  • Quality control systems that test and review parts before delivery.


Fictiv’s dual marketplace approach also benefits manufacturers. Those manufacturing partners that meet Fictiv’s quality and performance standards can maximize even small windows of capacity through the platform’s intelligent routing system, unlocking more consistent work. To date, top performers have earned over $1M USD on the Fictiv platform.

“Fictiv is a disruptive, modern approach to manufacturing that provides enormous benefit to hardware development teams across a range of industries, from high volume automotive manufacturers to consumer electronics startups,” said Chris Evdemon, partner and CEO of Sinovation North America. “We’re excited to be a part of a company that is bringing much-needed innovation to this sector, and to help the company expand to and benefit from China's manufacturing industry."

Fictiv announced the publication an ​in-depth teardown report featuring three competitive products in the wearables space: Fitbit’s Charge 2, Samsung’s Gear Fit 2, and Garmin’s Vivosmart HR+.

Fictiv has previously torn down other consumer products, such as the ​Ricoh Theta S 360 Camera​, the Segway miniPro, and a comparison between the ​Apple Watch and a fake Apple Watch​. This is the first time however that Fictiv has done an in depth analysis of several competing products to compare functionality and manufacturing considerations.

In the report, they investigate how these fitness wearables each showcase engineering innovation in four areas of interest:

  • Design for Assembly (DFA)
  • Waterproofing Techniques
  • Band-to-Body Attachment Mechanisms
  • Space Management


In addition to an in-depth analysis across each of these areas, the report also includes a comprehensive bill of materials with links to high-res images for each component.

In the DFA analysis, they found that of the three products, Garmin’s Vivosmart HR+ band uses the most adhesive for assembly purposes. Samsung, on the other hand, uses the least amount of adhesive, designing most carefully for disassembly.

The band-to-body attachment mechanisms are most complex in the Gear Fit 2 and the Fitbit Charge 2 products—in comparison, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ attachment mechanism is fairly simple, as the straps are not designed to be replaceable. This allows Garmin significant cost savings with decreased functionality.

Of the three products, the Vivosmart HR+ has the highest number of total components, making space management more challenging comparatively. Fictiv found the Vivosmart band to be more optimized for ruggedness, with thick enclosure walls compared to the other two products, decreasing space available for internal components.

Fictiv announces its new Hardware Guide, a collection of its community’s best articles sharing practical knowledge, expert insight and lessons learned from the hardware development and prototyping process.

Organized by six major stages of the hardware development lifecycle: R&D (Research and Development), Plan, Design, Fabricate, Assemble, and Test, the Guide contains detailed articles to help and inspire teams move between these stages as they create a product. The Guide is intended to broadly share their own and others’ experiences in the spirit of open-source learning to help the next generation, as well as veteran engineers, designers and entrepreneurs build their skills and knowledge.

“Our mission at Fictiv is to democratize hardware development and empower a new wave of innovators and inventors,” says Dave Evans, co-founder, Fictiv. “But, simply providing more people access to tools is not enough to realize their full potential. The Hardware Guide is meant to provide them with knowledge about how to best use those tools.”

Fictiv announced it has added CNC capabilities to its manufacturing platform, giving users access to precision prototypes in a matter of days. The CNC offering enhances Fictiv’s platform, helping designers and engineers across a number of industries accelerate their development cycles. By offering on-demand fabrication of 3D printed, and now CNC machined, prototypes through its network of experienced vendors, companies can produce parts at unprecedented speed.

CNC machining offers high precision parts to test functional and structural integrity before high-volume production. CNC machines are used to create production-quality prototypes in metals, as well as plastics. While lead times for CNC parts traditionally extend well beyond 2 weeks, the Fictiv platform shortens turnaround time to just three days.

Faster product development cycles means engineers can get immediate feedback on their designs, ultimately leading to more impactful hardware products. Fictiv provides customers access to its network of pre-vetted, highly skilled CNC and 3D printing manufacturers, with design-for-manufacturability recommendations and price estimates within just one hour.

"Creative hardware engineering requires that Radicand continuously test the limits of what we can do, which can mean tough fabrication challenges when we prototype," says Scott Steber, Director of Engineering at Silicon Valley engineering firm Radicand. "Fictiv gives us one platform to manage all of our prototyping projects, regardless of material or size specifications and the insight from their engineers has been valuable in getting us better parts, faster."

“The real cost of hardware development is the time wasted in the inefficiency of prototyping products,” says Dave Evans, co-founder, Fictiv. “With Fictiv, our customers get CNC or 3D printed prototypes quickly and seamlessly, while benefiting from a wide variety of machines and materials that enables engineers to find the right tool for the job. This greatly accelerates their development cycles for faster iterations to give our customers an unparalleled competitive advantage.”

Using Fictiv, engineers and designers can upload a CAD design, get an instant quote, and place their order using a credit card or purchase order. Unlike other online platforms, Fictiv allows engineers to upload an optional part drawing for producing tight tolerance, complex parts. After an order is placed, Fictiv’s platform intelligently matches each part to an immediately available machine among its network of highly-vetted vendors, reducing the time needed to fabricate a part from weeks to days.

Currently, Fictiv offers the following materials for CNC machining:

Plastics

  • ABS
  • Nylon 6/6
  • Polycarbonate
  • Delrin 150

Metals

  • 6061 Aluminum
  • 303 Stainless Steel
  • 304L Stainless Steel
  • 316L Stainless Steel

 

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