Digital 3D touch sensor wins Hexagon’s support to scale and solve industry challenges

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Hexagon has announced the winner of the second cohort of its coveted Sixth Sense open innovation platform, which nurtures start-ups creating solutions to pressing manufacturing challenges.

Hexagon is a global digital reality solutions giant, whose technology empowers makers to design and manufacture better and more sustainable products. It launched the Sixth Sense open innovation platform in 2022 to support the growing demand for disruptive innovation in manufacturing.

The platform offers business insight, access to experts and mentorship, as well as exposing them to Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division’s global customer and partner base, which includes the likes of Audi, Airbus, Meta and Zimmer Biomet.

GelSight won the competition, following an intense 10-week programme of product refinement and business development, which culminated in a pitching competition at the Hague, the Netherlands, where they presented their company and progress to a panel of judges representing experts in technology, investment and Hexagon leadership. 

As part of their winning package, they will receive access to Hexagon’s extensive customer base to expand their business, integrate with Hexagon products, and further resources to globalise.

Youssef Benmokhtar, CEO of GelSight, said: “Many inspections in the industry today are still performed by an inspector simply looking at or touching a part to identify, and sometimes measure, a defect. This is a subjective, non-repeatable, non-traceable process. Our gel material acts as artificial skin, providing extremely detailed and rapid surface characterisation.

"We have digitised the entire workflow – our technology analyses the readings to give users detailed 3D visualisation with up to 5 million data points that can help automate processes, cutting costs and time. 

“Working with Sixth Sense has been such a memorable experience – we are proud and humbled to have been chosen and are looking forward to the future with Hexagon. The real work starts now.”

Runner-up CASTOR’s Angeliki Malizou, director of business development, said: “Participating in the Sixth Sense cohort has provided us with an exceptional opportunity to take our business to new heights. Our intelligent software analyses thousands of parts at once and identifies opportunities where additive manufacturing makes sense, from a technical, economical, and sustainable point of view.

"Whether a company's initiatives are cost reduction, sustainability, supply chain resilience, or others, we can help engineers to scale up their additive manufacturing journey, and we look forward to furthering that journey with Hexagon.”

Parth Joshi, chief product and technology officer for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, said: “The market is in a state of flux. The industry is trying to contend with a shrinking global economy, sustainability requirements and increasingly complex customer demands, which are all piling on the pressure. To us, however, this presents an opportunity.

"Constraints provide fertile ground for innovation, and start-ups know that better than anyone. In fact, the industry as a whole can benefit from the creativity and agility they bring to the innovation process, as demonstrated by the success of our cohorts. We are excited to continue working together with budding companies and will be recruiting for the next cohort soon.”

Hexagon also congratulated the rest of the cohort for their impressive pitches and dedication to growth during the programme. These innovative start-ups are: 3YOURMIND, Augmentir, JITbase, oculavis, Threedy, and Teratonics.

To follow Sixth Sense, learn about the ecosystem and opportunities for future participation, visit Stay tuned for an announcement regarding the third cohort in the coming weeks.