3D Printed FootwearAdditive ManufacturingAutomationPost-Processing

Siemens presents virtual AM reference factory for SLS and post-processing

Full footwear AM workflow concept developed in collaboration with EOS and DyeMansion

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Under the motto “Partnering for the next step to industrialize Additive Manufacturing”, and in collaboration with EOS and DyeMansion, Siemens is introducing the first virtual AM reference factory for selective laser sintering with polymers.

Using the example of a midsole for footwear applications in which parameters such as design, fit and color are individually and economically taken into account, Siemens, EOS and DyeMansion will demonstrate what the next step towards the industrialization of selective laser sintering with polymers can look like along the entire production chain.

“The automated chain of coordinated production steps from all suppliers, from design and printing to post-processing, as well as end-to-end IT integration, is crucial for high productivity and maximum flexibility. This applies to series parts as well as to a highly flexible lot-size-1 production for individualized products or spare parts,” explained Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital Industries, and continues: “With the end-to-end digitization and automation solutions from Siemens, we have succeeded, together with our partners EOS and DyeMansion, in creating a seamlessly integrated end-to-end value chain for industrial additive manufacturing with selective laser sintering and industrial post-processing solutions using polymers.”

Using a footwear application, Siemens, EOS and DyeMansion demonstrate what the next step towards the industrialization of selective laser sintering with polymers can look like along the entire production chain.
For volume production, the EOS P 500, which can be seamlessly integrated into an automated production, is being used within this cooperation.

virtual AM reference factory

Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA at EOS explained: “Our EOS P 500 manufacturing platform is ideally suited for laser-sintering of plastic parts on an industrial scale: One of the key advantages is the extensive automation capability for comprehensive productivity while maintaining consistently high part quality. This ensures economical component costs and allows the production of additive-manufactured components even overnight”.

For small, highly flexible AM factory cells, the FORMIGA P 110 systems are being used, which can now also access the Siemens NX design tools directly thanks to the EOSPRINT integration. With the NX design tools, users can design complex lattice structures and, using the example of the footwear application, simulate the digital twin of the created midsole in action on the people who wear it. Starting in December, NX will allow the seamless integration of arbitrarily complex shapes and structures into the design process using mathematical equations in order to make even greater use of the advantages of additive manufacturing for product design.

When it comes to post-processing, DyeMansion’s coordinated three-step print-to-product workflow allows scaling from prototyping or small series production to additive series production. The integrated Siemens automation can be implemented in industrial shop-floor IT and offers optimized maintenance and operator handling.

Felix Ewald, CEO & Co-Founder of DyeMansion about the new partnership: “Bringing the manufacturing technology of the future to series production level together with Siemens and EOS is a major task that we are proud to accomplish. Digitally integrated, automated and with the clear goal of providing solutions at the highest industrial level, we are united on this path. When three market leaders in their field join forces and take on a pioneering role together, this is not only a strong signal for international industry, but also for Germany as a business location.”

With its Digital Enterprise Portfolio, Siemens offers the full use of digital twins, which reflect the real world for technology providers and users, to ensure that a component is manufactured right the first time it is printed. Based on the digital twin, a flexible and scalable manufacturing concept is being developed and validated that meets the productivity and cost requirements of traditional mass production even before the production starts.

Siemens is going to present the first virtual Additive Manufacturing reference factory for selective laser sintering with EOS and DyeMansion at its virtual Siemens Additive Manufacturing Summit@Formnext Connect. With the virtual reference factory, Siemens is also simultaneously expanding its digital Additive Manufacturing Experience Center and opening it with the beginning of Formnext Connect. In 2021, Siemens plans to install the key processes along the value chain of this use case in the physical Additive Manufacturing Experience Center too, in order to further accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing together with partners.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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