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Siemens and Materialise have integrated additive manufacturing (AM) technology from Materialise into Siemens’ NX™ software, streamlining the design to manufacturing process for the rapidly growing universe of products being produced using AM (a.k.a. 3D printing). The new solution leverages proven Materialise technology to enable NX computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) software to accurately and completely prepare CAD models for powder bed fusion and material jetting 3D printing processes. As a result, the time necessary to go from a completed product design to a fully 3D-printed part could be reduced by 30 percent or more. A partnership agreement between the two companies, announced by Materialise on January 6, 2017, enables Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business to sell the integrated solution through its global sales channels.

“Today’s announcement represents a huge leap forward in making additive manufacturing a mainstream production practice for our customers,” said Zvi Feuer, senior vice president of Manufacturing Engineering Software for Siemens PLM Software. “Until now, the additive manufacturing process required manufacturers to work with two separate systems – one for product design, and another to prepare that design for 3D printing. The data translation issues and lack of associativity between these two systems created a process that was time consuming and subject to errors. By eliminating these issues, we are helping to expand the adoption of additive manufacturing as a universally accepted production tool.”

As one of the world’s most widely used digital product development applications, NX is used throughout multiple industries to design some of the world’s most sophisticated products, from automobiles, aircraft and marine vessels, to consumer products, medical devices and machinery. Likewise, technology from the Materialise Magics 3D Print Suite enables all commonly-adopted AM processes for end-part manufacturing, including powder bed fusion, as well as material jetting, which promises to further accelerate AM‘s evolution from a prototyping to a full-scale manufacturing technology.

The solution being announced today seamlessly and associatively links NX with Materialise lattice technology, support structures design, 3D nesting, build tray preparation, and build processors framework technology for additive manufacturing. This eliminates data translation, conversions and ensures that changes to digital product design models, are automatically and associatively reflected in the 3D print jobs. The result is greater model accuracy, higher quality and a much faster design to production process.  

“Additive manufacturing is a reality now, even in highly regulated markets like aerospace and healthcare,” says Johan Pauwels, Executive Vice President at Materialise. “By bringing together solutions from Siemens and Materialise, we are optimizing and simplifying the workflow for design, engineering and manufacturing of components. For the past 25 years, our neutral backbone of solutions has pushed the boundaries of additive manufacturing technologies. We’re pleased to partner with Siemens, who truly understands large-scale industrial manufacturing environments and shares our belief that designers and engineers can create better products if additive manufacturing is embedded into their mainstream business processes.”

An initial set of technology is available in the most current version of NX (NX 11.0.1) via new modules targeted for additive manufacturing.

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