Stratasys and Siemens plan to take additive manufacturing to volume production

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS) 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 (AM) into the traditional manufacturing workflow, helping AM become a universally recognized production practice in 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.

Siemens and Stratasys 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.

The Stratasys Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is a hybrid approach for automated composite part production that breaks the print-by-layer mindset and enables the full value of additive manufacturing to be applied to high value composite structures making them lighter than ever before.

The Stratasys Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is a hybrid approach for automated composite part production that breaks the print-by-layer mindset and enables the full value of additive manufacturing to be applied to high-value composite structures making them lighter than ever before.

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.

Stratasys and Siemens are showcasing their next generation additive manufacturing systems, such as the Stratasys Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator, at the formnext 2016 exhibition in Frankfurt. Siemens is demonstrating its end-to-end additive manufacturing software along with its scalable hardware platform for motion control and relevant manufacturing processes.

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 used to produce structures optimized for weight and performance. The result is a hybrid manufacturing approach that is unconstrained by the traditional limitations of composite layup 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.

Siemens Digital Factory offers a portfolio of seamlessly integrated hardware, software and technology-based services to support manufacturing companies worldwide in enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of their manufacturing processes and reducing the time to market of their products.

Siemens PLM Software
www.siemens.com/plm

Stratasys Ltd.
www.stratasys.com

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