Siemens continue advancing into the 3D printing industry via a partnership with 3D printer manufacturers, Trumpf. We take a closer look at the implications for the additive manufacturing world.
German company Trumpf specialize in 3D printing metal, with two different technologies ‘Laser Metal Fusion‘ (LMF) and ‘Laser Metal Deposition‘ (LMD). Their partnership with Siemens will integrate the metal powder-bed-based LMF technology with Siemens PLM’s NX software and is intended to streamline the process of 3D printing metal. Exhibiting at Formnext last year, the 3D printer manufacturer proudly displayed their LMF machines, the TruPrint 3000 and TruPrint 5000. The NX software provides an end-to-end solution for designing and preparing 3D printed metal parts.
Siemens are working with a number of industrial 3D printing companies, including Stratasys, to incorporate their 3D design software. More recently we reported that Materialise signed a major design software agreement with Siemens. This, in addition to the partnership with Trumpf signifies Siemens’ stance in the 3D printing market. While competitor GE have taken an approach of acquiring 3D printing companies, such as Concept Laser and Arcam, Siemens instead continue to announce new 3D printing partners, opting for working with rather than buying out.
Although it is too early to gauge the commercial success of what is a long-term strategy for both enterprises, 3DPI will be watching closely when GE announce financial results later this week.
Referred to as ‘TruTops Print with NX’, the software package will be sold with the TruPrint Laser Metal Fusion printers. The NX software addresses the 3D design process, and preparation for printing through the ‘integrated Trumpf build processor technology.’
Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software said,
Our combined solution will offer customers a high degree of process reliability, thanks to its use of smart product models through all phases of the process. There will be no need for data conversion because the tools for design, simulation, 3D printing and NC programming of metal parts are integrated into one system.
During Formnext Siemens gave several demo’s. This included a presentation at Materialise’s booth. As the largest manufacturing company in Europe and long term business rival of GE, how these partnerships develop in 2017 will be most interesting to watch.
Featured image shows a laser metal deposition creating aerofoil shapes. Image via Trumpf.