About Third Wave Systems | International Distribution | Careers

Third Wave Systems is the premier provider of validated material, physics-based modeling solutions and services. Our products, AdvantEdge and Production Module,  are built and designed to to improve current machining processes. Both products are used by innovative manufacturing companies to optimize their specific machining operations, giving their engineers access to more information than trial-and-error tests, allowing them to make better decisions.

Third Wave Systems was founded in 1993 and its flagship product Mach 2D, later named AdvantEdge, was launched in 1995.  In 1999, TWS and CRC Research Institute agreed to a pilot program distributing TWS products in Japan.  The success of the program resulted in TWS’s first formal distributor agreement. Today, TWS maintains its distributor relationship in Japan and has distributors and re-sellers in China, Korea and Germany.

In 2001, Third Wave licensed the MRPS source code for General Motors toolpath analysis software TurnSim, FaceSim, and MillSim.  TWS and GM shared software development efforts until 2003, when Third Wave became the sole developer and re-launched the product as Production Module. 

In 2001, The U.S. Air Force awarded Third Wave its first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract.  The six-month $100,000 project demonstrated the feasibility of using machining modeling technology to improve titanium machining processes.  The same year, Third Wave released a three-dimensional version of AdvantEdge, providing customers with additional methodologies for analyzing their milling, drilling, and grooving processes.  In 2005, Production Module 3D was launched at the EMO trade show in Germany, showcasing the software’s 5-axis milling, automated NC code optimization, and toolpath import capabilities. 


In 2005 Third Wave purchased its first five-axis machining center, a Mori Seiki NH6300.  The machine became an essential tool for validation activities, which is an important and unique aspect of both of software products  In 2006, TWS opened its Productivity Center in Plymouth, Minn.  Located within Ellison Technologies, the facility housed machining and metrology equipment in a showroom environment, enabling applications engineers to not only validate product outputs, but also conduct machining demonstrations.  In 2012, TWS moved its headquarters to Eden Prairie, Minn., which brought all of the company operations, including the machining center, to one central location. 

Other milestones for TWS include releasing a parallel computing upgrade for AdvantEdge, allowing the software to compute simulations 1.5-3 times faster than previously attainable on a single processor. TWS also upgraded its server room to a high performance computing cluster, quadrupling internal resources and equipping the company with the tools necessary to pursue cloud computing and Software as a Service opportunities.

In 2017,  The U.S. Small Business Administration recognized Third Wave Systems as one of the 2016 recipients of the prestigious Tibbetts Awards for the company’s years of technological contributions to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program (read the full story).

TWS continues to release new features for its commercial products AdvantEdge and Production Module to enhance the user experience and deliver premier capabilities to a variety of manufacturing industries, all while maintaining a strong focus on research and development to deliver the very best products to users all around the world. 


Third Wave Systems at EMO Milano in 2015.

Third Wave Systems at EMO Milano in 2015.