Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) business announces a new comprehensive solution to unleash the full potential of the burgeoning additive manufacturing revolution. The new solution, which will begin rolling out in January 2017, is comprised of integrated design, simulation, digital manufacturing, data and process management software. The new set of offerings will help companies fully leverage the benefits of the latest additive manufacturing technology, also known as 3D printing. The integrated solution will use smart product models through all phases without the need for conversion or translation between applications or processes. The solution will enable automated generative design using the new topology optimization capabilities which often result in organic shapes that would be difficult for a human designer to envision, and impractical or impossible to produce with traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology, combined with Siemens' new advanced 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.
Designers are trained to create parts with traditional production technologies in mind, which can limit creativity and innovation. Today, production parts are either stamped, molded, cast or machined. By providing engineers and designers with a completely new way to design and manufacture parts, Siemens is helping them reimagine the next generation of products. Companies can create unique, better performing designs with significantly increased strength/weight ratios and apply advanced integrated simulation and analysis technology to predict design performance. This new transformative technology will help increase design innovation.
The new additive manufacturing solution will include Siemens' NX software, an integrated computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) solution; the newly announced Simcenter portfolio, a robust suite of simulation software and test solutions; Teamcenter software, a most widely used digital lifecycle management system; 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 in the solution that enable automated generative design, are Convergent Modeling and topology optimization. Convergent Modeling, which was announced with the latest release of NX, reportedly 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 is a brand new modeling paradigm that greatly 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, another new technology 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 capabilities help evaluate the design for manufacturability to provide greater confidence needed to move forward with designs optimized for additive manufacturing.
In addition to these new technologies, Siemens is also introducing a new 3D print preparation solution for both 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 provides model preparation for laser metal deposition and NC programming. This 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 new multi-axis robotic fused deposition modeling (FDM) programming technology has been developed and is being field-tested. 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.
For further information on Siemens PLM Additive Manufacturing, please visit: www.siemens.com/plm/additivemanufacturing
Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Convergent Modeling, Topology Optimization,, ARC Advisory Group.