At this year’s Formnext, the Additive Manufacturing Industrialization Navigator (AM I Navigator) initiative was introduced by key industry players, including Siemens, DyeMansion, BASF Forward AM, EOS, and HP.
Tackling the challenges of industrial 3D printing, this initiative presents a comprehensive maturity model outlining distinct stages of industrialization in the AM sector. Remaining open for collaboration, the AM I Navigator initiative extends an invitation to companies to play a role in shaping the industrial 3D printing landscape. It is inclusive of additional technology providers and thought leaders across diverse industries, fostering joint efforts on related offerings.
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Facilitating interoperability in additive manufacturing
Highlighting the necessity for enhanced interoperability in additive manufacturing, the initiative focuses on fostering a shared comprehension of the various stages. Its objective is to support users in the smooth integration of these processes into traditional production workflows. Factors affecting these stages include organizational structures, strategic setup, expertise, cultural maturity of employees, automation, and connectivity throughout the entire value chain.
Encouraging companies to evaluate their current position in additive manufacturing, a structured Maturity Check is recommended—a method built upon the Siemens Digital Manufacturing Excellence framework. This assessment allows companies to identify their current level of maturity and pinpoint areas for improvement, categorizing their goals across five levels—from basic manual production to fully autonomous additive manufacturing.
Following the assessment, companies receive recommendations to steer them in the advancement of their production processes. Emphasizing the significance of coordination within the process chain, the initiative underscores that open and interoperable additive manufacturing enhances the overall value of production.
Major industrial 3D printing partnerships
The POLYLINE project, featuring consortium partners like BMW, Grenzebach, DyeMansion, and EOS, successfully implemented a large-scale, automated AM production line for polymer parts. Completed in three years at BMW’s Additive Manufacturing Campus, the project plays a significant role in enabling high-throughput 3D printing for serial production.
EOS, Arkema, General Lattice, and DyeMansion unveiled the Digital Foam Architects network to expedite AM of consumer, medical, and industrial products. The Digital Foam Architects network, led by EOS, addresses the complex design, material, and AM hardware requirements, formalizing a partnership of experts across the entire AM spectrum. Central to Digital Foam is EOS’s patent on generatively 3D printed lattice structures, providing diverse opportunities for AM innovation. EOS foresees network expansion with more partners.
Metal 3D printer developer Meltio launched the Meltio Engine Software Partners ecosystem, featuring 12 partners, including the likes of Fusion 360 by Autodesk, AdaOne by Adaxis, and more. This initiative aims to provide robust software solutions for Meltio Engine CNC Integration and Meltio Engine Robot Integration, establishing an open platform for both hardware and software in the additive manufacturing sector. Meltio emphasizes a user-friendly experience and has implemented a meticulous technical validation process to ensure seamless integration and enhanced slicing features for diverse industrial applications.
Read all the 3D Printing Industry coverage from Formnext 2023.
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Featured image shows Left to right: François Minec (Global Head, Polymers 3D Printing, HP 3D Printing), Martin Back (Managing Director, BASF Forward AM), Karsten Heuser (Vice President Additive Manufacturing, Siemens Digital Industries), Felix Ewald (CEO & Co-Founder, DyeMansion) & Nikolai Zaepernick (CBO, Managing Director, EOS). Photo via DyeMansion.