Apr 11, 2017 | By Julia
Siemens has teamed up with 3D printing innovator Materialise to integrate 3D printing technology into its acclaimed NX software, streamlining the process between initial design and final product manufacturing.
With a specific focus on powder bed fusion and material jetting 3D printing processes, the new solution will leverage Materialise’s technological capabilities in order to enable NX computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) software for preparing CAD models.
Company representatives say that the integrated solution could reduce the time spent going from a completed product design to a fully 3D printed part by at least 30 percent.
The Siemens-Materialise partnership, which was announced by Materialise back in January, will see Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business sell the newly integrated NX solution through its widespread sales channels around the world.
NX is currently one of the most popular digital product development applications worldwide. Its widespread use in industries such as automobiles, aircraft and marine vessels, consumer products, and medical devices and machines has cemented its leading position in recent years.
The partnership represents a considerable upgrade for Materialise, whose Magics 3D Print Suite is best known for enabling 3D printing for end-part manufacturing. It focuses specifically on powder bed fusion and material jetting, with the promise of skyrocketing 3D printing from a prototyping technology to a full scale manufacturing solution.
“Today’s announcement represents a huge leap forward in making additive manufacturing a mainstream production practice for our customers,” commented Zvi Feuer, senior vice president of Manufacturing Engineering Software for Siemens PLM Software.
“Until now, the additive manufacturing process required manufacturers to work with two separate systems—one for product design, and another to prepare that design for 3D printing. The data translation issues and lack of associativity between these two systems created a process that was time consuming and subject to errors.”
By eliminating these issues, Siemens is helping to expand the adoption of 3D printing as a universally accepted production tool, he added.
Moving forward, NX will be comprehensively linked with Materialise’s lattice technology, support structures design, 3D nesting, build tray preparation, and build processors framework tech for 3D printing.
This integration will eliminate data translations and conversions while ensuring that alterations to digital product design models will be automatically reflected during the 3D printing process. Siemens and Materialise tout additional benefits such as improved model accuracy, higher quality, and an accelerated process from design to production.
“Additive manufacturing is a reality now, even in highly regulated markets like aerospace and healthcare,” said Johan Pauwels, Executive Vice President at Materialise. “By bringing together solutions from Siemens and Materialise, we are optimizing and simplifying the workflow for design, engineering, and manufacturing of components.”
Pauwels added that he is very pleased to partner with Siemens, as the German technology company truly understands large-scale industrial manufacturing environments and shares Materialise’s belief that embedding 3D printing into the mainstream business process will result in better products.
An initial set of Materialise tools is available in the recent NX 11.0.1 package, in the form of new modules targeted at 3D printing users.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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