Siemens and HP Team Up to Advance Additive Manufacturing

Siemens PLM and HP have partnered to support the adoption and advancement of additive manufacturing.

Siemens PLM and HP Inc. have created a partnership to advance their 3D printing tools for industrial design and production. Siemens has created an HP-certified additive manufacturing (AM) software module. The module, Siemens NX AM for HP Multi Jet Fusion, is now an extension to Siemens’ solution for additive manufacturing.

 

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Siemens PLM, HP, software
Siemens NX users can maximize the number of prints to be executed within the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer build volume by loading multiple 3D part models into NX, and then auto nesting and submitting them (powered by integrated Materialise capabilities) directly to the HP 3D printer. Image courtesy of Siemens.

 

Earlier this year, Siemens announced a partnership with Stratasys on 3D print technology. Clearly Siemens wants a major role as 3D printing moves into manufacturing. “To industrialize additive manufacturing technology, we have to become a major vendor in design and manufacturing. We have to manage and distribute 3D print technology in a secure way,” Andreas Saar, VP of manufacturing engineering solutions at Siemens PLM, told Design News. “That’s why we’re intensively investing in it, and that’s why we partner with 3D printing companies. It was clear from the beginning we have to partner with strategic vendors who have the know-how from the technology side.”

The NX AM module will let users develop and manage parts in a single software environment for their HP 3D printing projects. The goal is to avoid costly and time-consuming data conversions and third-party tools while improving design-to-finished-part workflow efficiency. Siemens and HP are also aligning for future technology in order to escape the limitations of traditional manufacturing to produce new products at faster speeds.

Game-Changing Technology

Siemens views additive manufacturing as a technology that will alter the world of design and manufacturing. “This technology will change how products are imagined and designed, and it will change how we tool our factories,” said Saar. “It is having a major impact on how products are designed and manufactured. It’s important that Siemens PLM is heavily involved.”

Saar noted that additive manufacturing has traversed the hurdles that have previously held back 3D printing as a production technology. “In order to bring AM into production, you have to be capable of replacing a previous technology in both time and cost. You have to produce parts in amounts at better or lessor costs, and at greater speed. That’s the advantage of HP’s technology,” he said. “On the plastics side, you can print 30,000 or 40,000 parts cheaper than producing a mold. Also, you can print the same quality. You didn’t have that before. The quality has improved.”

Until recently, 3D printed parts were consider sub-standard in strength. Advances in materials have dramatically changed that equation. “Developments in the materials side is the main difference in part strength,” said Saar. “We’re working with major material vendors to really stabilize the digital package – a combination of material process and printing.”

 

 

So far, individual industries are turning to additive manufacturing to solve very different and specific needs. “Each industry has a different focus for additive manufacturing. The goal for aerospace is performance and light-weighting. You can build 3D parts you could not produce before,” said Saar. “This is a major breakthrough in aerospace. You can develop powder combinations to build material recipes that you couldn’t before. On the medical side, the goal is individualization; for consumer products, it’s mass customization.”

Partnership Brings Ease of Use

The Siemens AM software module was designed to let NX users combine design, optimization, simulation, and preparation of print jobs while bringing in the inspection processes for HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printed parts in a managed environment. Users can load multiple 3D part models into NX, and auto-nest and submit them to an HP 3D printer in a single environment and with a minimum of steps.

 

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Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

 

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