Stratasys and Siemens announced a formal partnership to integrate Siemens’ Digital Factory solutions with Stratasys’ additive manufacturing solutions. The partnership is intended to lay the foundation for the two companies to fulfill their shared vision of incorporating additive manufacturing into the traditional manufacturing workflow, helping it to become a universally recognized production practice which can benefit multiple industries, including aerospace, automotive, transportation, energy and industrial tooling. This announcement also builds on Siemens’ recently announced end-to-end solution integrating digital design, simulation and data management with conventional and additive manufacturing.
Stratasys and Siemens have been collaborating on multiple projects including the direct link from Siemens’ NX™ software for CAD/CAM/CAE to Stratasys’ GrabCAD Print platform – enabling a seamless design-to-3D print workflow – and the recently previewed Stratasys Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator that incorporates Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software and its motion control and CNC automation technologies, to produce strong, lightweight performance parts.
“Siemens is enthusiastic about this partnership with Stratasys and the opportunity to help our customers adopt a new manufacturing mindset that we believe will result in better products produced more economically and delivered more efficiently,” said Zvi Feuer, SVP Manufacturing Engineering Software, Siemens PLM Software. “We are committed to the industrialization of additive manufacturing with all of its unique advantages, including complex part geometries, on-demand production and mass customization. This relationship helps set the course for continued innovation and leadership through the tight integration of our product lines and through collaboration on comprehensive additive manufacturing solutions.”
“Siemens’ capability and commitment to the digital enterprise vision, along with its close collaboration with Stratasys, can help many industries realize shorter time-to-market, achieve flexibility in operations and improve efficiency in workflows through horizontal (machine-to-machine) and vertical (plant and top-floor to factory floor) integration,” added Arun Jain, VP of Motion Control, Siemens Digital Factory US.
While additive manufacturing technology has made great strides over the past years, additional criteria are required for it to take its place in volume production environments and become as commonplace as CNC. Ideally, additive manufacturing solutions should deliver robust, repeatable and reliable operational performance with predictable properties across a broad portfolio of materials that are certifiable for specific applications and that are driven by a seamless, digital integration from design to production. Together, Stratasys and Siemens plan to address these challenges.
“With our complete 3D printing ecosystem of customer applications, hardware and software platforms, advanced material offerings and consulting services, Stratasys is uniquely positioned to help manufacturers leverage 3D printing to transform their business models,” said Dan Yalon, Executive Vice President, Products, Stratasys. “Stratasys is excited to formalize our partnership with Siemens and views it as a major catalyst for the industrialization of additive manufacturing. Together, our companies are joining forces to create a cohesive, best-of-breed technology foundation that enables large-scale manufacturers to enjoy the benefits of additive manufacturing in traditional production environments. We believe that the impact on production practices will begin sooner rather than later with the aerospace, automotive and factory tooling industries expected to benefit first.”
At the core of the 3D Demonstrator is Stratasys’ advanced FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) Additive Manufacturing technology synchronized to complex multi-axis motion. It features Stratasys’ extensible and scalable multi-operation architecture that provides the flexibility to integrate subtractive manufacturing, inline inspection and verification and product finishing. Stratasys engineered materials are employed to produce structures that are optimized for weight and performance. The result is a new hybrid manufacturing approach that is unconstrained by the traditional limitations of composite lay-up and the layer-by-layer limitations and support material requirements of traditional 3D printing.
The new workflow for the Stratasys Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator begins with Siemens’ NX software. NX enables designers to create parts to be produced on the system, simulate and evaluate the design for manufacturability and generate and send all the manufacturing instructions for part production. Throughout the manufacturing process, performance is controlled and communicated directly to the manufacturing operations management systems. The result is a seamless CAD-to-product workflow that streamlines production and ensures end-to-end traceability and part quality.
The motion control for the Stratasys Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is driven by the Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D sl CNC. The open architecture of Sinumerik control combines the strengths of Siemens’ NC with flexible robot kinematics. The integration with Stratasys’ extrusion control technologies to execute manufacturing instructions from NX CAM, results in a high degree of freedom for robotic FDM extrusion.