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Siemens to lead Germany’s industrial additive manufacturing plan

Siemens has assumed the role of project management for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) grant project Industrial implementation of digital engineering and additive manufacturing (IDEA).

A collaborative venture, IDEA aims to reduce development and production times in  powder-based additive manufacturing by approximately 50%. One of the proposed outcomes of the project is enabling additive manufacturing for series production.

IDEA Project Partners. Photo via Siemens.
IDEA Project Partners. Photo via Siemens.

The IDEA Project 

The three-year IDEA project is part of the Line Integration of Additive Manufacturing Processes (LAF) funding initiative, from BMBF under the Photonic Research Germany program. This grant funds just under €14 million.

The partners in the IDEA project include the software suppliers ALLMATIC, BCT, Jenoptik, ModuleWorks, and Siemens Digital Industries, and industrial 3D printer manufacturers EOS and TRUMPF, as well as Liebherr, MBFZ toolcraft, and MTU Aero Engines. The project is supported by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT), and the RWTH Aachen University.

3D printed nickel supper alloy turbine blades. Photo via: Siemens
S3D printed nickel supper alloy turbine blades. Photo via: Siemens

Digitizing laser-bed additive manufacturing

IDEA’s pursuit of serial production will be approached by improving the link between hardware and software through digital twinsThe partners will digitize data formats and simulating processes using production control systems, to manage laser-bed processes from end-to-end. A development, implementation and validation phase is expected in the second half of the project which will lead to the production of demonstrator components in two pilot lines.

The prototypes for industrial production lines will be built in the Siemens gas turbine factory in Berlin and at MBFZ toolcraft in Georgensgmünd. 

“Within IDEA, Siemens is taking a clear leadership role in helping to shape the industrialization of additive manufacturing,” states Markus Seibold, head of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Gas and Power.

“In an interdisciplinary industrial partnership, we can work faster and more efficiently than any company can do in isolation.”

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Featured image shows metal part 3D printed at Siemens facility Finspong, Sweden. Photo via Siemens.

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