Materialise have signed an agreement with the largest manufacturing company in Europe, Siemens. This important deal will see the Belgian company integrate their 3D printing software with the industrial user base of Siemens. The agreement is with Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software branch and will be focused on creating a process that transitions from designing to manufacturing parts using 3D printing technology.

This is a logical partnership for both parties and one that we reported on earlier this month. Siemens PLM software is used to manage information regarding a product. This information can relate to the manufacturing process or design. Partnering with Siemens means Materialise will now have access to Siemens’ array of clients, massively increasing their number of customers. While Siemens will be strengthened by the use of Materialise’s experience and industry proven additive manufacturing software.

Stefaan Motte interviewed Andreas Saar of Siemens back at Formnext. Image via Materialise.

Stefaan Motte interviewed Andreas Saar of Siemens back at Formnext. Image via Materialise.

The two companies have been working together for several months already integrating Siemens’ PLM software and Materialise’s additive manufacturing expertise. Stefaan Motte, VP of Materialise Software spoke about the 3D printing deal,

This agreement will bring together a set of solutions from Siemens and Materialise that will optimise and simplify customer operations within the industrial landscape. We’ve been in the additive manufacturing business for more than 25 years and our open and neutral backbone of solutions has improved and helped to push the boundaries of the technology.Today we can say that additive manufacturing is a reality even in highly regulated markets such as aerospace and medical applications. We are really glad to partner with players of stature such as Siemens, who truly understand large-scale industrial manufacturing environments.

Andreas Saar of Siemens being interviewed at Formnext. Image via Materialise.

Andreas Saar of Siemens being interviewed at Formnext. Image via Materialise.

In an interview at Formnext, Andreas Saar, VP at Siemens PLM explained the motivation behind the collaboration with Materialise by saying,

Its natural that we say ‘we cannot do everything ourselves’”… “that’s why partnering together with leaders in the market who have this experience and put this technology together is the best way forward.

Stratasys Robotic Composite deposition at IMTS 2016. Photo by Michael Petch.

Stratasys Robotic Composite deposition at IMTS 2016. Photo by Michael Petch.

Siemens and Stratasys

Stratasys are another company who also partnered with Siemens recently in order to control the device for their Infinite Build and Robotic Composite processes. With these two processes Stratasys are looking to the industrialization of 3D printing. The 3D printing company showed the capabilities of these, as of yet prototype machines, during Chicago’s IMTS. The advanced manufacturing machinery may find a place in the Industry 4.0 enabled factory of the future, a place Siemens are undoubtedly hoping their control systems will also be an integral part of.

This partnership of Siemens with Materialise is an example of how the German company is approaching additive manufacturing. While their competitor, GE has in the past year acquired a number of 3D printing companies, in Concept Laser and Arcam as they look to secure their supply chain, Siemens’ approach is different in that they remain separate parties with Materialise and Stratasys.

Nevertheless, it is believed that the increased number of partnerships and acquisitions will only see 3D printing gain more of a foothold in the industrial market as Zvi Feuer, Senior Vice President at Siemens PLM Software, states

Additive manufacturing is one of the critical components of the Digital Enterprise transformation taking place right now in the global manufacturing industry. By partnering with AM leaders like Materialise, we are providing the digitalisation tools that will help enable this transformation.

Further details of the partnership and how it will work will be released later on this quarter. Watch the interview between Stefaan Motte of Materialise and Andreas Saar of Siemens below:

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Featured image shows an example of Siemens manufacturing a gas turbine in a Berlin manufacturing plant. Photo via Siemens.

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