On July 1st, high-end technology supplier DEMCON took over visualization company Nymus3D from Enschede. This spin-off from University of Twente focuses on illustration and 3D animation to communicate complex concepts in a clear and visually attractive way. Thus far Nymus3D especially works for scientists, but the industry offers new opportunities. The first projects with DEMCON already started. The acquisition gives Nymus3D, with their five employees, a firm foundation and support for growth.
Jeroen Huijben studied technical physics at University of Twente (UT) and established Nymus3D in 2010, together with two associates. They focused on illustration and 3D animation to communicate complex concepts in a clear and visual high-quality way. Huijben noticed that his own specialism had a lot to do with formulas and charts, and too little with visualisation. Unlike medical science, that used appealing visualizations for centuries. Huijben saw chances, which lead to Nymus3D. The spin-off from University of Twente counts five employees at the moment and has built an appealing portfolio, especially in the field of medical and pharmaceutical sciences and technologies. University of Twente is an important customer, next to other universities (like Utrecht, Groningen, Nijmegen and Harvard Medical School), institutes like CERN (research in elementary particles) and companies in the Netherlands, Germany and in the US.
DEMCON director Dennis Schipper was impressed since the first time he met with the work of Nymus3D. “They produce fantastic things for scientists in fields that are very relevant for us. I was surprised about the quality and the speed with which they make their visualizations. They can also visualize high-tech, the world in which we are active. They have a lot of international exposure that can help the DEMCON group. They consist of a small group of only five people and it is important for them to at least double their team in a short time. This way, they will become more tough.” The acquisition by DEMCON on July 1st can help with this. Nymus3D will now go as DEMCON Nymus 3D. It will still be working its markets and serving its customers as an independent company and it will also participate in projects inside the DEMCON Group. The first ones have already started, like the one focusing on ‘needle steering’ for conceptualization of the diagnostics of several forms of cancer.
An important focus at DEMCON Nymus 3D stays on the scientific world, says Huijben. “These clients prominently need our visualizations for scientific and popularizing presentations. We have built a great network. Because people work hard on new developments, we have to stay up to date with the knowledge and techniques that we can use for our visualizations.” There are a lot of new opportunities in the industry, according to Huijben. “Product visualizations for marketing use could be very interesting for DEMCON. Our images can also provide insight in a new concept in an early stage of a development process and communicate about this with the client.” A good visualization can help with ‘virtual prototyping’ too, when prototypes are being presented and surveyed without a physical appearance. Clients of DEMCON, for example in the medical section, also have a need for visualization, knows Huijben. “Real pictures of their solutions don’t always look very good. These can be presented in a clear and attractive way with visualizations. Our strength for example, is that we zoom in at the interaction between medical instruments and human tissue.
Clarifying and building bridges
The acquisition by DEMCON gives Nymus3D a wider and firmer foundation and more potential to grow. The members of the Advisory Board of Nymus3D acclaim this. Hans Clevers is academic in molecular genetics and was until recently president of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences). The top researcher from Utrecht successfully uses animation to clarify his complex specialism at scientific conferences and on television at De Wereld Draait Door. Dave Blank is academic in materials science and scientific director of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at University of Twente. He focuses on cross-pollination between science and art and builds bridges between science, society and trade and industry. Visualisations play a big part in this.
DEMCON (with over 200 employees) is a high-end technology supplier of mechatronic products and systems, with high tech systems, industrial systems and medical devices as a focus point. Its head quarters are established in Enschede. It also has locations in Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Groningen, Oldenzaal and Münster (Germany).