Insights from Formnext Connect 2020 by Srikanth Purli, Design Engineer at AMEXCI AB 

Software companies launch new collaborations and software solutions to support industrial AM along the entire value chain as well as updates to existing tools

1.SIEMENS collaborates with key players to industrialize AM

Siemens, a German provider of software for Additive Manufacturing, has highlighted several partnerships with different companies from the AM industry. Among those partnerships are a collaboration with American service providers Morf3D and Sintavia to further industrialize metal Additive Manufacturing for part production and automation. On the polymer side, they partnered with the machine manufacturer Nexa3D to automate their polymer laser sintering systems as well as with Evolve Additive Solutions to advance its STEP (Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process) technology to connect and automate an AM factory for high volume production.

As Siemens being at the forefront with their software solutions, with these new collaborations it will further enable to industrialize and leverage the AM production. 

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2.Elise launches automated end-to-end software solutions

Elise GmbH, a German software solution provider launched their open end-to-end software platform, which enables the automation of the AM process chain. The different modules which are integrated into the platform are support generation, generative design, slicing and process simulation. As it’s an open software platform, any existing state of the art tool can be integrated and controlled by their user interface.

The Elise software platform suits very well for the production scenario, as the production applications can be created and controlled using their automated intelligent workflow. 

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3.e-Xstream commercializes the Digimat suite of softwares

e-Xstream, a Luxemborg based engineering solutions company, has commercialized the Digimat suite of softwares. Digimat offers a holistic simulation platform for Additive Manufacturing to combine material engineering, process simulations and structural analysis solutions. They also offer build simulations for different printing processes to predict the mechanical behaviour and part customizations like generative design.

Digimat opens up a new dimension of AM build simulations, where applications from different processes like FFF, SLS can be simulated to predict their thermo-mechanical behaviour. This integration of different polymer/composite materials and manufacturing processes would further advance the adoption of build simulations in AM.

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4.BASF showcases AM applications driven by lattice structures

Lattice driven applications from BASF pushes the boundaries of AM design freedom.

BASF, a German based company, and the largest chemical producer in the world, has showcased their portfolio of AM applications which are driven by lattice structures. They use various polymer materials like TPU, which brings in Lightweight, heat transfer and ventilation, local optimization of properties and Aesthetics aspects. The selection of lattices for different applications is based on a prior automated simulation developed by BASF, to understand the mechanical and the stiffness behaviour.

BASF has already proven their software for serial production of complex applications such as protective gears, midsoles and insoles, or cushioning applications.

These lattices driven applications from BASF, would further push the boundaries of AM design freedom and help companies to understand and realize usecases in different industries.

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5.SIEMENS NX new design capabilities to enhance DfAM capabilities

Siemens NX in their upcoming major release – NX 1953, which is due to release on the 15th of December 2020, comes up with advanced design features to enhance the Design for Additive Manufacturing capabilities, and the major ones being:

The ‘implicit modeling’ module which provides the users to design advanced bionic structures e.g. Voronoi structures etc.

To fix the geometry issues, a new suite of NX modeling tools will be launched. This further helps to streamline from the NX CAD to the NX AM data preparation module.

Siemens NX new design capabilities will further broaden the utilisation of siemens end to end AM solutions.

About Srikanth Purli

Srikanth Purli works as a Design Engineer at AMEXCI. In his daily work, he is responsible on the design and the simulation front of ‘Design for Additive Manufacturing’.

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