customer story – rare metals recycling

visual communication puts Nth Cycle investors in the picture

For start-ups working in specialized and technical areas, communication of complex products and value propositions to the investment community is a challenge. These people can play a deciding role in the company’s immediate and long-term future, so Ideas need to be easy to express and easy to understand. As with so much in life, visual communication is often the most effective approach. It certainly has been for environmental technology start-up and Canvas customer Nth Cycle.

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Name | Megan O’Connor

Role | Founder and CEO

Company | Nth Cycle

Industry | Rare Metals Recycling

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“Canvas X3 was incredibly helpful during due diligence because it enabled us to show investors with absolute clarity how our technology and processes worked.”

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expressing complex ideas with clarity

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As demand for advanced electronics devices continues to surge, so too does the need for the rare earth and specialty metals essential to the batteries which power them. Boston-based start-up Nth Cycle was conceived to disrupt and improve both the manufacturing and recycling processes for lithium-ion batteries and electronic devices to reduce environmental impact and drive cost efficiency.

Nth-Cycle has developed new processes and technology hardware to ensure these rare metals are more easily recoverable when products reach end of life. CEO and co-founder Megan O’Connor explains that venture capitalist audiences will contain both technical and non-technical people and that the Nth Cycle team were having a hard time making their proposition understood with only CAD screenshots to illustrate their technology.

Frustrated by these limitations, Megan and her mechanical engineering team brought Canvas X3 into the picture.

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“The diagrams we have created in Canvas have been incredibly helpful. Even the technical audience was struggling to understand our technology and processes when all we could show them were Solidworks drawings. With Canvas our mechanical engineers have been able to create very clear and precise flow diagrams, using the 3D CAD models. It’s much easier for the investors to understand what we create using Canvas.”

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for great visualization, versatility is essential

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Emily Jennings is Nth Cycle’s Lead Mechanical Engineer and has responsibility for overseeing the illustrations which Megan has been using to pitch to the investment community. She was able to rapidly adopt Canvas X3 and use it to work directly with her Solidworks 3D CAD models to create product and process visualizations which left investors in no doubt as to the power of the solution.

“Creating annotations in Canvas is just super easy and the bill of materials function is very helpful. I really like the annotation lens because you can instantly zoom into the precise point on the model or process that you need to show in more detail.”

The ability to manipulate 3D models to create multiple views – to explode, rotate, ghost, and hide individual parts – and then add automated call-outs, dimensions, annotations and other graphical elements makes Canvas X³ a powerful addition to documentation workflows.

Emily is now using Canvas to create piping and instrumentation diagrams and to plan equipment layouts as Nth Cycle looks to scale its technology to production.

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visual communication with precision and clarity

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“Before Canvas I would orient the drawing in Solidworks and then just take a screenshot. But we quickly realized that was not an effective approach. What’s great about Canvas X³ is that we can use the exploded view to show the flow path and all of the individual parts so the audience can see what happens in the process. Unlike Solidworks, Canvas enables us to manipulate the model while changing colors, transparency, and the view.”

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Canvas is chosen by leading manufacturing brands from all verticals because it has been developed specifically to cater to precision technical illustration use cases.

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