The Siemens gas turbine business in Finspång, a pioneer in the development of additive manufacturing, has entered into a collaboration with Swedish company Interspectral. The two companies will work together to develop AM Explorer, a 3D visualization tool that will accelerate the industrialization of metal additive manufacturing.
While additive manufacturing is already a primary focus a Siemens and is pervasive in the way the company prototypes, produces and repairs components for industrial turbines, metal additive manufacturing, in particular, is not yet a fully mature and robust process. There are still many barriers to reach full industrialization, many of which are closely linked to having access to adequate, AM-specific software
“To improve and ultimately industrialize the process you need to capture, explore and understand large amounts of heterogenous data from the manufacturing process and increase domain knowledge. There is a need for a tool that generates true insights and new knowledge from the data” Andreas Graichen, Head of Additive Manufacturing Center of Competence at Siemens.
To find a solution Siemens has entered a project with Interspectral to develop a new 3D visualization tool called AM Explorer. With the help of this AM-specific tool, Siemens will be able to import and visualize a large amount of heterogeneous data from the metal additive manufacturing process.
Two years in the making
The work with AM Explorer started in 2017 as an R&D project supported by the innovation initiative, “Visual Sweden”, and it has now transitioned into a product development project.
“Based on our core visualization technology we are designing an intuitive tool that will support interactive exploration and collaboration. Using AM Explorer Siemens, will learn more from the data that they collect, increase domain knowledge and minimize trial and error,” said Interspectral Business Developer & Co-founder, Thomas Rydell.
With the help of AM Explorer, Siemens will be able to import and visualize a large amount of heterogeneous data from the metal additive manufacturing process in the same working environment.
AM Explorer will make it easier for engineers to gain insights into the additive manufacturing process and communicate challenges and solutions with stakeholders. CAD files, data from sensors and cameras, simulations, and metrology systems such as laser scanners and CT scanners, can be fused and visualized using the same tool. Engineers can filter, navigate, explore and analyze the data in an intuitive way. They can detect anomalies and trace why and where in the manufacturing process the anomaly appeared.
An AM Explorer of new solutions
The goal is for the AM Explorer to make it easier for engineers to gain insights into the additive manufacturing process and communicate challenges and solutions with stakeholders, ultimately allowing for the technology to be industrialized faster.
“The collaboration with Siemens represents the beginning of a new and very exciting market segment for Interspectral – Rydell continues. The project is a great example of how our 3D software platform can bring value to companies working with complex 3D data and digital twins.”
Siemens intends to be at the forefront of the industrialization of additive manufacturing by developing next-generation products, engineering services and digital solutions – comprehensively addressing the entire value chain from design to service.
“We believe 3D-visualization, including AR and VR, will be a key component in the industrialization of additive manufacturing and tools such as the AM Explorer will be one part of the solution in our additive manufacturing roadmap at Siemens,” concluded Andreas Graichen, Head of Additive Manufacturing Center of Competence at Siemens