Tool and Die Software: Our Investment in Atomic Industries

Toyota Ventures
Toyota Ventures
Published in
3 min readApr 5, 2022

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Factories can be seen as complex puzzles, assembling various pieces to see the full picture. For manufacturers, the picture emerging from these puzzle pieces would be the factory of the future — where automation assembles the pieces for safer, highly efficient and standardized production. But it’s difficult to complete this puzzle if critical pieces just don’t fit.

Tool and die making has been one of those stubborn pieces that has yet to find its place in the factory of the future mosaic. This is largely because tool and die making is an outdated, time-consuming, and labor-intensive process that has eluded innovation. However, the great thing about puzzles is that if you change your perspective, you can change your prospects. And we believe Atomic Industries is that alternate perspective on the missing pieces in the factory puzzle.

Based in Los Angeles, California, but currently remotely working throughout the United States, Atomic is leveraging software to automate the most difficult parts of the human tool and die designer’s workflow. The company was co-founded by Aaron Slodov, Austin Bishop, and Lou Young Jr. Together, the team brings a range of technical expertise in tool and die making, additive engineering, and knowledge developing artificial intelligence software. This unique mission and team is why I’m excited to welcome Atomic to the Toyota Ventures portfolio.

Source: Atomic Industries

With a vision of making mass manufacturing as agile and distributed as software development, Atomic also wants to drive business model innovation by converting tooling from a capital expenditure to an operating expenditure. The company aims to massively reduce the labor and time involved in building tooling such as injection molds. Atomic’s software can influence the design of plastic injection molds by dramatically decreasing the time it takes to generate individual design features, some going from days to seconds.

Focusing first on injection mold design, the team plans to expand into applied automation in fabrication and testing of manufacturing tools. Die casting, stamps, and metal injection molds are also on the roadmap.

In the words of Earnest Adams: “A puzzle challenges the player to get from a problem to a solution.” This rings especially true for Atomic, where the team saw a common industry bottleneck and decided to remake a critical piece of the puzzle to improve injection mold design through automation.

Atomic’s technology may be a key disruption to future factory evolution, and we’re proud to join the company’s first investment round led by Point72 Ventures with participation from 8VC. Visit Atomic’s website and the Toyota Ventures portfolio page to learn more.

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Toyota Ventures
Toyota Ventures

Founded in 2017, Toyota Ventures is a San Francisco Bay Area-based VC firm that invests in early-stage startups from around the world.