12/14/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

Stratasys and Siemens Collaborate on Workflow Integration

Stratasys and Siemens have announced a formal partnership to incorporate additive manufacturing into the traditional manufacturing workflow through the integration of computer software and 3D printing platforms.

Stratasys Ltd. and Siemens have announced a partnership to integrate Siemens’ Digital Factory solutions with Stratasys’ additive manufacturing (AM) products. The partnership is intended to lay the foundation for the two companies to fulfill their shared vision of incorporating AM into the traditional manufacturing workflow. This move also builds on Siemens’ recently announced end-to-end solutions integrating digital design, simulation and data management with conventional and additive manufacturing.

“Siemens’ capability and commitment to the digital enterprise vision, along with its close collaboration with Stratasys, can help many industries realize shorter time-to-market, achieve flexibility in operations and improve efficiency in workflows through horizontal (machine-to-machine) and vertical (plant and top-floor to factory floor) integration,” says Arun Jain, vice president of motion control for Siemens Digital Factory U.S.

“With our complete 3D-printing ecosystem of customer applications, hardware and software platforms, advanced material offerings and consulting services, Stratasys is uniquely positioned to help manufacturers leverage 3D printing to transform their business models,” says Dan Yalon, executive vice president of products for Stratasys. “We believe that the impact on production practices will begin sooner rather than later with the aerospace, automotive and factory tooling industries expected to benefit first.”

Siemens and Stratasys have collaborated 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.

At the core of the 3D Demonstrator is Stratasys’ advanced fused deposition modeling (FDM)  additive manufacturing technology synchronized to complex multi-axis motion. It features Stratasys’ multi-operation architecture that provides the flexibility to integrate subtractive manufacturing, in-line inspection and verification, and product finishing. The result is a hybrid manufacturing approach that is unconstrained by traditional limitations of composite layup, layer-by-layer limitations and support material requirements of traditional 3D printing.

The new workflow for the 3D Demonstrator begins with Siemens’ NX software. NX enables designers to create parts to be produced on the system, to simulate and evaluate the design, and to 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 3D Demonstrator is driven by the Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl CNC. The open architecture of the 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, is said to result in a high degree of freedom for robotic FDM extrusion.