Swedish Startup Space

Algoryx from Umeå wants to bring physics to life

Written by on March 14

Algoryx provides software for visual and interactive physics based simulation. The company sprung out of research at Umeå University in 2007 and has since then offered products for the professional and educational markets.

The story

Simulation software has had wind in the sails for quite some time now.

With the increase in computational power the complexity of simulations is higher than ever, and the results are nothing but magnificent. But as the physics engines get more advanced it has also become increasingly important to make the software more accessible, and ease of use is something that the team at Algoryx talk a lot about. They want to enable engineers, designers, sales people and marketing professionals to use the power of simulations in their daily work.

The recently announced partnership with SpaceClaim is according to them a game changer in simulation for design and engineering. In the deal, Algoryx provides a plugin to what they say is the fastest growing 3D modeling tool for engineers and designers today.

I reached out to the CEO of Algoryx, Kenneth Bodin to learn more.

First off, what’s your story and the story behind Algoryx
Algoryx is a spin-off from the UMIT Lab at Umeå University. I have a background in theoretical and computational physics, and I was directing a virtual reality lab at the university for about 7 years, before we started Algoryx.

It seems like Umeå is getting hotter as a northern innovation hub. Is this something you have felt the last years?
Yes, Umeå is certainly one of the hotter places in the Nordic countries right now. We are a bit distant from the largest cities, and our focus is mainly international/global, so I would say it is a bit unknown to the rest of Sweden how much is going on here. In addition, Umeå is the European Capital of Culture 2014.

I would say it is a bit unknown to the rest of Sweden how much is going on here

Your products are used in industries such as oil & gas, robotics and educational institutions. How is it working towards such different markets?
Well, we mainly see it as professional and educational, and even between those we have a lot of synergies. Physics simulations for engineering and design are rather universal, though we do need to know the terminology of the markets we enter. We get a lot of cross market synergies and higher critical mass by addressing several markets.

How is the competition in this field? Who are the biggest players and what makes you special? And how do you compare to COMSOL, for example?
There are some really big players, such as Siemens, Autodesk, PTC, Dassault, MSC and Mathworks. Sometimes we displace them, but often we just fit in and integrate with their toolchains. And sometimes we disrupt – and completely changes the game…

COMSOL and the companies that work with Modelica are great examples of successful Swedish companies that are rather unknown to the general public but have tremendous potential. Our specialty is to simulate even larger systems with real-time performance, often with a human in the loop, and to integrate simulations with real-time 3D graphics. We are also devoted to making simulations much more accessible and integrated, so that designers, engineers, animators, sales and marketing people can use them – and not only specialists, though specialists tend to like our tools as well.

Bringing physics simulations to school

Algoryx has for the last years been providing Algodoo, which is a 2D-simulation software for educational purposes. When released it was the successor of the popular physics application Phun. Today Algodoo is free to use and has a large and active community.

Accordning to Kenneth, Algodoo has thousands of school projects worldwide and millions of users. He also says that they collaborate with a couple of research projects. As a fan of the old school Bridge Builder games and yes – somewhat of a physics nerd – I hope Algodoo and similar tools will take a bigger role in schools in the near future.

Check out the videos of Algodoo and Dynamics for SpaceClaim below.

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