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Changing the Speed of the Possible: Digital Manufacturing Customer Success Series



by Joanne Moretti, CRO – Fictiv

This week: Digital Manufacturing that unlocks AR-Powered Manufacturing

As the Chief Revenue Officer at Fictiv, I take at least 5 hours a week, sometimes more, to be curious about how our customers use the Fictiv Digital Manufacturing platform and the business impact they get from it.  This exercise is important to learning and driving towards our mission of “enabling innovators to create”. 

And we don’t want them just “creating” we want them to do it quickly to achieve the competitive advantage or first-mover advantage they seek.  In this article and future ones, I will share some of my findings in the hopes of loosening up status quo thinking around both what’s possible, and the speed of what’s possible, especially as our customers navigate these unchartered and extremely choppy supply chain waters.

Today’s story is about an innovator called Mira Labs.  It discusses how they successfully developed and commercialised a smartphone-powered augmented reality system that helps to digitise and document workflows and connect frontline workers through hands-free AR glasses up into enterprise-ready software/workflows.  The Art of the Possible is strong with them.  

Mira Labs’ challenges though involved the Speed of the Possible or the lack thereof.  Specifically, they were having difficulty finding a manufacturing partner that could supply high-quality custom parts without a costly investment in tooling.  They noted that their favourite feature of our Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem (“DME”) was access to HP Multi Jet Fusion capabilities for rapid production of fully functional, cost-effective units.  Read that again, no CAPEX. 

In addition to CAPEX-free access to high-end 3D Printing resources and capabilities, our digital manufacturing platform is “swiss” in nature, in that its AI-powered computational geometry engine (“compgeo engine”) has no biases towards any one particular manufacturing approach, OEM printing, or machining platform, process, or material.  Instead, this “brain” picks the BEST tool/process/materials/geography for the job based on the user-selected variables when configuring their part online! 

Variables like lead time desired, materials, process, secondary process, and logistics all go into our compgeo engine to help engineers and supply chain managers (our typical users) determine the cost to build something.  In addition to these variables, machine-generated or human design for manufacturability feedback is available to the user to help them build it right.

The fastest quoting time achieved on the platform is 14 seconds, with an average time of a few minutes.  Compared to traditional quoting for mechanical parts, which ranges in the days and weeks, speed is delivered from the get-go.  Not to mention, the sourcing, vetting, PO creation time, quality checking, etc. that goes into custom part fabrication.

The Result: High-quality, customer-ready units at cycle time reductions overall of 40% or more.

“Mira Labs’ Prism headset is an enterprise-grade wearable that allows businesses to deploy augmented reality,” says Haley Harrington, product design engineer at Mira Labs. “Mira avoids the high barriers to entry often associated with AR, including managing and securing new devices, as well as prohibitive cost.”

The Challenge: Overcoming Slow Production Cycles While Staying Dynamic

Since augmented reality is still in its early phase, solutions can take time to test and validate. Along with the inherent issues that come with new technologies comes a need for agile development, in order to take what’s learned and apply that knowledge to new hardware.

“The challenge lies in producing hardware that is high enough fidelity to get valuable feedback from real people in the world. It needs to work, and work well,” Harrington says. “In an ideal world, we should be able to leave prototypes with customers, so that we can see what it’s like in their everyday lives because that provides us with the most valuable insights.”

However, getting that information back and iterating on the design was a challenge for the team.

Getting the high-resolution parts they needed at low cost, with high quality,  and at the speed they needed was difficult.

“Those units need to be produced quickly, relatively inexpensively, and without the investment in tooling that makes design and engineering changes difficult and costly,” Harrington says.

Solution: Changing the Speed of the Possible with Fictiv

The Mira Labs team leveraged Fictiv’s HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing capabilities, with economical overseas production to produce fully functional units at high volume.

“Fictiv gave us access to overseas MJF printing that allowed us to quickly produce cost-effective units,” says Harrington.

“Fictiv has allowed us to produce fully functional units at a volume that would traditionally have been very difficult to manage,” Harrington says Multi Jet Fusion gives Mira Labs’ product a polished appearance that’s customer-ready, allowing the company to meet its goal to put prototypes in customers’ hands in exchange for product feedback.

“MJF allows us to produce complete, functional units, with a high-quality look and feel, that we’re able to get into the hands of our customers,” Harrington says. “Through that process, we’re able to get continual feedback and make important improvements to our design.”

To learn more, check out this video that shows Fictiv’s “compgeo” engine in action on the right-hand side of the screen, and a UX animation on the left, including DFM feedback. 

For more information, visit to load up a diagram and go! 


Supply Chain Insights Official Media Partner – CeMAT Australia



Supply Chain Insights a leading digital magazine in the APAC region for Supply Chain practitioners is an official media partner of CeMAT Australia.

CeMat Australia is one of the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Intralogistics, Materials Handling and Supply Chain Management taking place on 19-21 July 2022, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. The CeMAT trade show is held in six countries, Organised by Hannover Fairs Australia, a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe.

The event provides a unique opportunity for solution and technology providers to meet with the Asia-Pacific’s logistics and warehousing elite and to create lasting relationships.

The CeMAT exhibition will be a one-stop-shop of the leading technology and service providers in the materials handling and warehousing industry. CeMAT will pair these organisations with visitors from logistics, warehousing, supply chain, IT & finance job functions from a wide variety of industries ranging from FMCG through to resources.

As well as cutting-edge product demonstrations on the show floor, visitors will also be able to access our Solutions Theatre, which will offer attendees practical take-away solutions to challenges facing end users in the logistics and warehousing industry.
Register for free at

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Mike Mansuetti, President, Bosch North America



I caught up with Mike Mansuetti, President, Bosch North America, in Berlin, to chat about the Bosch Connected World 2019, his role, current trends in the Connected Mobility industry, AI, ML, the Bosch Centre for AI his insights on where we are heading over the next 12 to 18 months and beyond. For more info visit

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5G Telco: Identifying New Ways to Reduce Costs in Supply Chain and Production



digital manufacturing technology

Yes, it’s true, we’re far from full IIoT (the Industrial internet of Things) adoption and we’ll be living with a hybrid of traditional and digital operations for some time to come. That’s actually a good thing. It’s still very early in this exciting journey, and we have barely begun mapping out where it can and will take us.

What IS happening is more proof of concept in how digital manufacturing can be done, inspiring significant change in how much ownership manufacturers have over who they are developing for, under what terms, and (obviously) how fast and at what standard cost.

Into the midst of all that comes my interview with David Van Dorselaer, AVP Manufacturing at AT&T Business. He didn’t deny that our hybrid #manufacturing world is a bit messy – lots of blank space between operational technology and IT, for example – but his use cases of places where IIoT has already completely transformed how manufacturing is done are fantastic. We even have a cultural pivot happening as manufacturing adopts the Fail & Fail Fast “agile” approach most commonly the domain of startups.

I’m particularly excited about the transitional shift-of-focus from Things to Services. Manufacturing has for so long been about how do we produce more of X widget at Y quality for Z fixed price, the R&D of what to produce notwithstanding. As much as there were incremental gains in productivity, there was still this enormously real physical process that WAS manufacturing, that dictated what could be done based on fixed cost widget economies whereas now, through the leveraging of IoT, a services-based pricing model can be applied. 

Mind you, there is still a giant opportunity to reduce “time to monetisation.” The IoT, powered by various blends of AI, / ML, +/ Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) AKA “edge computing” and Fifth Generation telco (5G), are identifying completely new ways to intelligently reduce costs in both production and supply chain, including “on demand” delivery and other dynamic adjustments according to demand and seasonal shifts. It’s to the point where manufacturing is practically thinking in “stack” terms, from previously unheard of supply chain control out to fleet and asset tracking.

“We’re seeing a lot of solutions coming together,” as David said. “Customers are looking for this, where it really provides that visibility not just to the truck, but the trailer and also the asset inside of that. I think that’s a key trend that we will continue to see, providing that kind of important visibility.” And just imagine when the full strength of 5G comes to bear! Manufacturing is an incredibly perfect candidate for discrete 5G networks with enormous edge computing requirements. 

In effect what we’re seeing is the self-disruption of a long-standing industry and market sector. If executed appropriately this new self-reliance could dramatically reduce the impact of consumer-driven disruption, which has such a volatile impact on so many industry sectors and their markets. The manufacturing customers of AT&T Business that David’s team supports are doing their best to stay ahead of change and proactively prepare for the coming tsunami. 

Another hero moment belongs to the advances in digital twin applications in manufacturing. David and I discussed how, when key indicators on the real machine start showing signs of failure, the digital twin can go into hyper acceleration, using big data analytics to run potentially billions of scenarios to determine the best course of action. This is where the low-latency high-bandwidth high-speed power of 5G will truly transform what can be done. 

5G: A Game-Changing Technology

“5G really is a game changer [for manufacturing],” says David. “You’re going to be able to do that AI, ML computing now, at the edge, that used to have to be in the cloud.” Be it a business or operational target desired by the business, enabling a digital twin to inform its associated real world asset how to best respond to situations, in 5G-style real-time, is a game-changer.

We are only just beginning to comprehend the impact of synchronous bidirectional movement of data & instructions, from an IoT sensor or device to / from one or more digital twins. As they become more thoroughly utilised and leveraged, digital-twins will have flow-on impacts beyond fundamental operational and business benefits, on up to saving lives, I am sure of it.  

Another key topic I discussed with David is how the very perception of “data” in manufacturing has changed, how it’s gone from an annoying cost of business to an asset. As David put it, “historically, technology was looked at as a cost item.” Now, data has KPIs and a balance sheet. It’s no longer a problem child, it’s the dux of the class, with entire new business functions and C-level job roles created around it (Chief Data Officer, Chief Privacy Officer). With this kind of support, the entire manufacturing industry is rapidly shifting to thinking and behaving digitally.

But the IIoT isn’t just reducing costs or increasing efficiency, it’s upending the concept of production lines/cells in favour of dynamic manufacturing, manufacturing on-demand and Manufacturing Services. That’s where you really need to listen in to the full podcast, because it’s my favourite part of all.  

So stay tuned, make sure you take a moment now to follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn if you are not already, and be sure to “join the conversation” for this is indeed a critical conversation. Grab a spot and take part. Things are moving fast and the stakes are high. At the pace I’m seeing, if any one operator gets caught out and left behind, they might never catch up. 

Listen to my #podcast interview with David here =>

Links to further info:

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