Siemens recently launched its Additive Manufacturing Network, an online collaborative platform to bring on-demand design and engineering expertise, knowledge, digital tools, and production capacity for industrial 3D printing to the global manufacturing industry.
The venture was first announced at Hannover Messe 2017 and is planned for rollout in mid-2018. The April launch is an early adopter program for designers and engineers, manufacturing service providers, 3D printing machine OEMs, material vendors and software providers to join the network.
In that way, Siemens is looking to reduce the overall adoption risk of additive manufacturing and create new business opportunities for all members of the global manufacturing community, said Jan Mrosik, chief executive officer of the digital factory division for Siemens AG.
“As innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter, companies need to constantly reimagine their products, reinvent manufacturing and rethink business,” Mrosik said. “The Additive Manufacturing Network augments our digital enterprise portfolio, where we combine the real world with the virtual world.”
The network offers the additive manufacturing a place to co-create, co-innovate and come up with completely new business models, Mrosik added.
The network connects qualified members who can innovate together and create new products using the latest software tools, printing technologies and materials for additive manufacturing.
Part buyers and manufacturing service providers can benefit from streamlined collaboration, quoting, procurement and order monitoring processes. This can facilitate the design of innovative products for additive manufacturing, replacement of physical inventories with digital inventories, as well as economical scaling up or down of 3D printing production as needed, Mrosik said.
Stratasys is a network partner. Platform users will have access to HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology providers, experts, and tools to successfully help their adoption of additive manufacturing.
The network is a step in Siemens’ vision to accelerate delivery of parts made with additive manufacturing, Mrosik said.
In September, the company announced HP and Siemens PLM had joined to create a new additive manufacturing software module, Siemens NX AM for HP Multi Jet Fusion.
The new software model enables NX customers to combine design, optimization, simulation, preparation of print jobs, and inspection processes for HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printed parts in a managed environment. The HP system is a production-ready commercial 3D printing system
Users can develop and manage parts within the software for their HP 3D printing projects, avoid data conversions and third-party tools, and improve their overall design-to-finished-part workflow efficiency, according to Siemens.
NX users can now also load multiple 3D part models auto nest and submit them to an HP 3D printer, all in a single NX environment and with a minimum of steps.
The Siemens NX and HP Multi Jet Fusion integration also eliminates the need for data conversion between software applications or process steps and, in the future, is intended to allow unprecedented control, including material characteristics down to the individual voxel-level. This will result in the ability to print parts with variable textures, density, strength and friction, and thermal, electrical, and conductivity characteristics.