Company Overview

Third Wave Systems provides physics-based material modeling software and services to optimize the machining process. Since 1993, Third Wave software has been used by some of the world’s top tooling suppliers and manufacturing companies.

In the engineering world, a product’s life cycle spans concept designs, testing and manufacturing. Until recently, there has been a gap between design and manufacturing, which has resulted in an increased time (cost) for design and production. The solution to decreasing time and cost is Third Wave software, which has material modeling embedded in its product. The software serves as the optimization hub between computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) systems. This technology applies high performance machining practices and helps control machining-induced stress and distortion. Faster turnaround times and improved part quality are results of Third Wave software, which reduce costs and enhance machining expertise.

Third Wave's flagship product, AdvantEdge, was the first commercially-available machining simulation software to combine finite element analysis (FEA) with custom material models. Third Wave AdvantEdge allows engineers to identify best case tooling and machining paths for specific projects. In 2003, Third Wave introducted Production Module, which allows users to analyze and optimize NC programs. Third Wave Production Module allows users to maximize the potential of current manufacturing resources.

Third Wave’s technology does not require engineers to halt production or purchase new equipment. Instead, the highly developed software interfaces with CAD/CAM packages for an effortless integration with current design and cycle processes. Third Wave technology automatically suggests parameter improvements versus requiring users to manually determine an optimization strategy based on trial-and-error testing. The software makes suggestions with consideration for material properties, cutting tool geometries, toolpath approach and calculated tool forces and temperatures.

The success of Third Wave software has allowed the company to work with the United States Department of Defense on numerous occasions through research and development contracts and partnerships with industry leaders such as Boeing, Bell Helicopter and Kennametal. In 2007 and 2008, Third Wave was ranked on Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal’s list of the 50 fastest growing private companies in the Twin Cities. From 2008 to 2011, Third Wave was on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5000 fastest growing private companies in the United States. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Third Wave has a remote office in Detroit and international distributors throughout Europe and Asia.