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in the next 5 years
Today, when we talk about additive manufacturing, 3D printing, rapid prototyping or generative production, we’re not talking about a trend. We’re talking about a disruptive revolution. Analysts predict that the addictive manufacturing world market for materials, machines, software and services will be worth around 20,2 billion euros in 2019*.
Additive manufacturing defines the possibility to produce in a completely new way and utilize levels of freedom in construction that were previously unimaginable. Components are produced additively on the basis of three-dimensional construction data. In practice this means: Products and work pieces are produced via targeted material deposition e.g. produced layer for layer using plastics or metals. The production of goods becomes much more flexible and enables the development of innovative products and the optimization of business models. This makes it possible to produce spare parts decentrally and on demand, and to react more flexibly to market fluctuations.
We at Siemens are currently the only providers of a complete software and automation solution for additive manufacturing along the whole value-added chain – from product development to automation of 3D printers, right through to production. We develop this knowledge in our own production, as for example in the energy sector at our Swedish Finspång plant, and develop the technology until it is ready for market. In this way we are already able to help our customers from numerous industries to optimally implement the new technology into their production.
Additive manufacturing creates innovative products and corresponding product benefits that give mechanical engineers, machine users and contract manufacturers decisive competitive advantages. With the help of CAD, CAE and CAM, the value of additive manufacturing can already be seen in the design phase: Thanks to rapid prototyping, each step can already be inspected in the development process, components can be optimized during simulation and adjustments to meet customization requirements can be carried out much more quickly and simply. A good example of this: In the gas turbine plant in Berlin, innovation cycles for turbine vanes have been shortened by 75%.
In additive manufacturing, components are produced layer for layer without the need for a mold. This means that e.g. prototypes or individual parts can be produced by simply transferring the part geometry to the machine.
Because some additive manufacturing processes combine different materials in one production process in a completely new way, downstream assembly processes are no longer required. Performance is considerably increased because even complex assembly parts can be created in one step. Another advantage: far less material is required compared to classic manufacturing processes. In this way, recycling processes that can be very time-consuming (e.g. metal) are eliminated. Even the handling of spare parts is more efficient, because production can take place on-site and, therefore, storage and logistics costs are reduced or completely eliminated.
How can additive manufacturing be integrated into existing lines? Our answer: Detailed order planning and management, provision of the correct programs and traceability along the entire process chain are all carried out using software modules from the manufacturing operations management (MOM) portfolio.
For machine automation, we offer a scalable product portfolio from the SIMATIC, SIMOTION, SINUMERIK and SINAMICS product families. Thus, you receive the hardware platform optimized with regard to motion control for the relevant manufacturing processes. Thanks to our comprehensive portfolio for the automation and digitalization of production processes, we have the expertise required to promote the industrialization of additive manufacturing. To this end we use our comprehensive user expertise and research knowledge that we pool and develop in our own laboratories worldwide.
The term additive manufacturing covers the most diverse of processes. But regardless of the chosen process, additive manufacturing enables component geometries that are not possible with conventional manufacturing methods. Additive manufacturing allows engineers and designers to realize the full advantages of 3D printing and set out on new paths in product development. And so, thanks to additive manufacturing and freedom of design, it is now possible to create optimized components in terms of weight, performance, material and strength.
The term additive manufacturing covers several different processes. We will show you those that are of the highest industrial relevance.
For powder bed fusion, the powdered material (e.g. metal, plastic or ceramic) is spread out on a construction platform. A laser beam fuses the powder according to the PLM data extremely precisely and binds defined areas with the layer below. The laser repeats this process until the part is completed.
In contrast to powder bed fusion, during direct energy deposition metal powder is fed directly to the weld and fused using a laser.
“Material jetting” is used for machining plastics. Print heads apply molten material onto a construction platform. The material solidifies when cooled and enables layered construction of parts.
Material extrusion is a very common process in the plastics sector. Very fine strands of plastic are melted and formed into a continuous profile. Storing and handling the materials is exceptionally easy. This process is often used to create prototypes; however, even a car body can be produced using this method.
Additive manufacturing processes are gaining in popularity. Whether for weight reduction or increased design freedom – learn how numerous industries have already successfully profited from additive manufacturing.
Innovative additive proceedings and high-precision 5-axis milling enables entirely new component structures in finished quality.
SINUMERIK 840D sl controls the machine for hybride multitasking.
Consistent design and programming solution including post-processor and simulation for additive and subtractive processes is available with NX.
The 3D printing of armrests is not only advantageous when it comes to sourcing spare parts – it also scores highly with regard to design.
As, for example, with the Siemens COMBINO train. The requirement here was to integrate another switch into the train driver’s armrest.
By using powder bed fusion (plastic), this function could be integrated at no further cost.
Optimized components made of metals and alloys can be made exactly according to the construction plan on the computer.
Powder bed fusion (metal) has already been used successfully for many years by Siemens in the energy sector at the Swedish Finspång plant. It is now used to repair gas turbine burners – a service revolution.
In this specific case, the repair time was shortened by 90% – from 44 weeks to 4 weeks – thus the turbines could be connected more quickly to the grid.
Additive manufacturing enables production of highly complex structures with high-performance materials such as nickel-base alloys. Products with these properties are very important for turbine construction, for example.
Complex topologies are produced directly in one piece.
Additive manufacturing saves a great deal of weight and the cooling ducts on the inside of the vane can also be designed more delicately and, therefore, more efficiently.
News and Events
The rapid development of additive manufacturing is constantly yielding new information.
For more information about the industrial applications of additive manufacturing, please contact the competence center for additive manufacturing.