The most significant challenge customers face in adopting additive manufacturing is a reluctance to open their minds to its possibilities for value and cost. These expectations need to be addressed up front, defining the problems to solve, along with the cost for the effort. This proactive approach allows a customer to completely rethink their assumptions about how additive manufacturing occurs.
According to Jeff Blanford, Application Engineer for Siemens PLM Software, “[Additive manufacturing] is not a silver bullet technology. It’s a series of maturing technologies that are converging and coming together all at the same time, to rapidly change the way we approach manufacturing and change our value proposition for that type of process.”
Additive manufacturing tools and customer expectations
Customers need an end-to-end solution using several tools to design, validate and produce viable 3D printed parts. Blanford continues, saying, “This process begins with optimization, where we’re applying loads and constraints to a design space to give the most efficient structure possible. Those structures would not have been able to be built with traditional manufacturing.”
Then users can modify that optimization directly with convergent modeling technology. Once complete, these modifications need to be validated against all other load cases. Results can be seamlessly loaded into Simcenter 3D, a finite element model can be built, and all the relevant load cases can be analyzed.
After this, the part—still in the NX environment—can be placed into the build tray with the correct orientation and support. Before hitting the print button, though, users can run a build simulation, visualizing the part’s layer-by-layer printing, accounting for temperature fluctuations and forecasting distortions in the part’s geometry.
With NX Additive, all these capabilities are integrated into a single, end-to-end process, ensuring greater efficiency, quality and speed.
“We are working on an end-to-end solution that can be industrialized in a true environment for customers so that additive manufacturing can go beyond just our lab, and be pervasive throughout the entire organization,” says Blanford.
View more about how additive manufacturing service provider Sintavia is using Siemens software to implement an end-to-end process for designing and printing 3D metal parts and providing technology to see where today meets tomorrow.
The concludes part two in a series of blogs about the end-to-end digital additive manufacturing solution from Siemens, provided to Florida-based Sintavia, an additive manufacturing service provider delivering parts to the aerospace industry.