A 1:1 session with Hyperganic Group CEO, Lin Kayser, on the founding of the company, its technology and his vision for the future.
Why did you start Hyperganic?
Hyperganic is the result of a long thought process that started more than 10 years ago. I had just watched Al Gore”s TED Talk, “An Inconvenient Truth”, about climate change. How could I, a software entrepreneur, have a more transformative impact on the innovation that is needed to tackle global challenges?
Eventually, I decided to sell my last company and started brainstorming on my next project. For a completely different startup idea. I bought a 3D Printer and I was hooked. All of the sudden, I understood how software can have a dramatic impact on physical objects. If you think of objects as assemblies of molecules that can algorithmically be moved around — you can model and design anything that’s physically possible, and then output that to an industrial 3D Printer.
This allows us to go beyond the model of the stone age and the industrial revolution and move to a world, where you “grow” objects. They tend to look “organic”, but we are moving beyond that. That’s why we called the company Hyperganic: we can ultimately create objects as complex as the ones found in Nature — but they are driven by human input, they go beyond the organic world.
What does this mean for design and engineering?
We usually think of both design and engineering as creative tasks, but very often they are not. There is a lot of tedious work involved that is repetitive and annoying. As a result, engineers and designers stick with what has worked in the past and try avoid reinventing the wheel. This is an enormous roadblock to innovation.
If we use the human mind to actually do what it is great at, brainstorming, guiding, rethinking, actually being creative — and let the computer then create the actual implementation, we can unlock a lot of potential. Exactly what we need for the challenges of our times.
So it’s less about coming up with all the answers, it’s more about asking the right questions. The question is, what do you actually want? — Not, what exists already.
How does this work?
It’s not a magic box. You have to teach the software how to build certain types of objects. But instead of creating one object, like you do in traditional CAD tools, you design an algorithm. This algorithm can then, depending on the input, create lots of different objects and explore a large design space. You can add digital evolution, evaluate results based on their performance and let the best ones influence the next generation.
One of the fundamental principles that makes software so powerful is that you can break down complex challenges into smaller and smaller chunks, until they become manageable. And you can recombine these algorithmic components into new solutions. The Hyperganic framework allows you to do this with physical objects.
In the example of the rocket engine, one of the things we taught the system is how to create cooling channels along the surface of the combustion chamber.
This is a complex engineering task for a human. But now, that I have this algorithmic component, I can use it to create cooling channels for other objects. Or I can modify it and design blood vessels for a synthetic organ, which follow the same principles. That is the power of software.
Which industries will this affect?
Every single one. There are obvious first fields where Industrial 3D Printing are already established today, such as medical or aerospace. But the advantages are so compelling that it will move into essentially all objects around us. Some earlier, some later. With our approach you can create functionally integrated objects that are more optimal, more functional, but also more sustainable.
Just like we today cannot imagine a world without software, a world without AI-based engineering will be inconceivable. And the results will be very visible in all the objects around us.
Lin Kayser is a German serial entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of Hyperganic, a company focused on transforming engineering through algorithmic design, A.I. and Digital Manufacturing using Industrial 3D Printing.
The Hyperganic Group has offices in Munich, Singapore and China.
Lin’s entrepreneurial journey stretches back three decades. In the early 1990s he joined industrial-tech startup ARADEX to disrupt the field of high-performance industrial machine control systems with PC technology.
In 2000, Lin created IRIDAS, a company which drove the digital transformation of the global film industry. The startup provided the software that powered the first digital cinema in the world for the postproduction of The Matrix movies. The company quickly became the industry standard for GPU-based imaging processing. IRIDAS was acquired by Adobe in 2011.
After directing Adobe’s global video technology teams in the US, Germany, India and China, Lin started Hyperganic in 2014.
Lin is an active mentor and board member in the Munich startup scene with a focus on radical innovation, sustainability and diversity. He is an early supporter and advisor for Isar Aerospace, a German orbital launch company, and VoltStorage, a company providing battery storage solutions for renewable energy.