12/15/2016 | 2 MINUTE READ

Siemens PLM Launches Design, Simulation and Process Management AM Software

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The set of software tools helps companies leverage additive manufacturing throughout all stages of the process.


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Siemens PLM Software has announced an additive manufacturing solution comprised of integrated design, simulation, digital manufacturing, data and process management software. Rolling out in January 2017, the new set of offerings will help companies leverage the benefits of additive manufacturing technology using smart models through all phases, without the need for conversion or translation between applications or processes.

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 suite of simulation software and test solutions; Teamcenter digital lifecycle management system; and SIMATIC IT Unified Architecture Discrete Manufacturing and SIMATIC WinCC, two elements of Siemens’ recognized Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) portfolio for production execution and manufacturing automation.

According to the company, this solution will enable automated generative design using 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 additive manufacturing software, could enable companies to reshape parts 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 and design innovations, Siemens says.

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, 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, the company says. 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 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 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 programming the removal of support structures, machining of precision surfaces and other processing and inspection operations.