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NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0 by Siemens and EDAG pushes automotive AM industrialization

System features modular AM nodes and profiles integrated via digital twin

The NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0 project by Siemens and EDAG was presented today at Hannover Messe and is set to significantly streamline the integration of modular AM elements in automotive production via digital twin. Last year at Hannover Messe (where Siemens plays at home), the German giant had presented a number of key application cases for automotive manufacturing and beyond, including a very fascinating one with Bugatti.

Now the company is diving deepr into the economics of automotive production. In this sense, the support of EDAG can be of great importance to Siemens, as the German studio is one of the very first to truly envision and push the boundaries of what could be achieved in terms of optimized, biomimicry, generatively designed structures in the automotive industry. Now Siemens is intensifying its cooperation EDAG in order to further promote industrial applications of additive manufacturing (AM) and to make engineering and production processes more efficient.

The collaborative project is based on an intelligent modular system features a combination of bionically designed and additive manufactured nodes and high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles. The concept offers extremely flexible manufacturing, enabling it to support the growing number of vehicle derivatives while still taking economic aspects into account.

NextGenerationSpaceframe

Constellium, Concept Laser in use case

In Hanover, Siemens is presenting the first steps in the process for successfully implementing this transformation using a digital twin. As well as the actual printing, this includes the industrialization of the entire AM production chain with all subsequent process steps. In the future, scalable modules will be created to pave the way from small series through to mass production.

The collaboration has now been extended by a seamless digital engineering process chain for AM resulting in the implementation of a use case. The project result, which will be presented at the Hannover Messe 2019, was led by EDAG and Siemens together with Constellium, Fraunhofer IAPT, Concept Laser and BLM. It shows a flexibly manufactured lightweight aluminum structure – “NextGenSpaceframe 2.0” as an automotive use case for Siemens.

NextGenerationSpaceframe
A miniature representation of what is to come in the NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0 series of projects.

NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0:

  • Shorter “time-to-market” for additive manufactured prototypes and small series components for automotive or industrial applications due to a digital engineering process chain.
  • Industrie 4.0 philosophy: the combination of 3D printed aluminum car body nodes with high-strength, energy-absorbing aluminum extrusion profiles combined as highly flexible “on-demand” manufacturing with 3D bending and jigless joining technology for automotive and industrial applications.
  • Calculations and actual tests demonstrated that the crash areas can absorb the crash energy as predicted and the AM node did not fail structurally.
  • The costs for AM could be reduced by optimizing the process and minimizing the support structure.
  • The seamless engineering data process chain has contributed to significantly shorter development and lead times, as well as ensuring a higher level of development maturity.
Siemens offers “Fleet Manager for Machine Tools”, a new app for MindSphere, the industrial IoT platform. With this cloud-based application (MindApp), machine tools worldwide at small or large production sites can be monitored, and their availability and productivity enhanced.

Driving industrialization of AM

The know-how provided by the EDAG Group in the field of production processes made a significant contribution to the collaboration. Tailored future factory concepts have been created, enabling the components developed for additive manufacturing to also be produced efficiently in larger batches and transferred to actual series production. An important factor in the success of the project is the competence that Siemens brings for factory automation and digitalization with knowledge from their own manufacturing applications for gas turbines (Finspang and Worchester UK) as well as the know-how provided by EOS GmbH in the field of process technology of additive manufacturing.

Siemens and EDAG share the goal of building on their respective strengths as project-specific partners and positioning themselves as service provides in the future market for the industrial introduction of additive manufacturing for their respective customers.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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