Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) business has been making moves into the additive manufacturing industry for several months now. (Siemens to collaborate with HP Inc. to elevate 3D printing from prototyping to full production;
Local Motors 3D printing cars with Siemens PLM Software;
Siemens moves into metal 3D printing; and Software optimizes parts for 3D printing)
The latest news is the announcement of a comprehensive approach “to unleash the full potential of the additive manufacturing revolution.”
This development will begin rolling out in January, 2017. It is comprised of integrated design, simulation, digital manufacturing, data and process management software. The goal is to help companies fully leverage the benefits of the latest additive manufacturing technology.
Included in this additive manufacturing development will be Siemens’ NX software, an integrated computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) software, the Simcenter portfolio, a suite of simulation software and test solutions, Teamcenter software, a digital lifecycle management system, and SIMATIC IT Unified Architecture Discrete Manufacturing and SIMATIC WinCC, two elements of Siemens’ Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) portfolio for production execution and manufacturing automation.
Two of the new technologies included that enable automated generative design are Convergent Modeling and topology optimization.
Convergent Modeling, which was announced with the latest release of NX, is the first technology of its kind. It will help engineers optimize part design for 3D printing, speed up the overall design process and provide scan-to-print functionality, which makes reverse engineering more efficient. It simplifies the ability to work with geometry consisting of a combination of facets, surfaces and solids, without the need for time-consuming data conversion.
Topology optimization will help analysts automate the iterative process for designing and optimizing parts for multi-physics performance including vibration, fluid dynamics and heat transfer. The integrated simulation and predictive engineering analytics help engineers evaluate a design for manufacturability.
In addition, Siemens is also introducing a new 3D print preparation solution for metal and plastic parts that will use the same smart product models from the design and simulation phase to help automate design changes and streamline the entire process. The new solution assists operators in preparing parts for powder bed and multi-jet fusion printing.
For 3D printed metal parts, NX has model preparation for laser metal deposition and NC programming. This model includes simulation for hybrid additive machine tools, where metal deposition is incorporated with subtractive methods in a single machine tool environment.
For extruded materials such as plastics and carbon fiber reinforced nylon, a multi-axis robotic fused deposition modeling (FDM) programming technology has been developed and is undergoing field tests. After parts are printed, the same integrated NX system is used for post-printing NC operations such as intuitively programming the removal of support structures, machining of precision surfaces and other processing and inspection operations.
The integrated solution will use smart product models through all phases without the need for conversion or translation between applications or processes. It will automate generative design using topology optimization capabilities, which often result in organic shapes difficult for a human designer to envision, and impractical or impossible to produce with traditional manufacturing techniques.
The technology, combined with Siemens’ new additive manufacturing software, could enable companies to reshape everything for optimal performance at a reduced cost. In addition, the ability to 3D print an optimized part shape could reduce the number of parts in an assembly, thereby decreasing weight and increasing strength. As a result, industries such as automotive, aerospace and medical devices could realize dramatic value.
“Siemens PLM Software is pushing the additive manufacturing envelope by developing solutions to help create functionally optimized geometry that is inconceivable based on conventional design and manufacturing methods,” said Dr. Ken Versprille, Executive Consultant, CIMdata. “Previously unsolvable design and manufacturing challenges are now quite feasible with these new software and production technologies. Siemens PLM Software has a vision for how the technology fits together from end-to-end and is putting that vision in place to move the industry forward.”
“This is just the beginning of a new generation of manufacturing capabilities, and Siemens is focused on delivering software technology to support an optimized end-to-end process with tools such as Convergent Modeling, topology optimization and 3D print preparation that are developed specifically to industrialize additive manufacturing,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software.
Siemens PLM Additive Manufacturing
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography, Automotive, Make Parts Fast, Medical, Software