For years the German industrial giant Siemens has used its expertise in manufacturing and electronics to push the limits of 3d printing, including a test last year that produced fully functional gas turbine blades.
Earlier today Siemens announced that it will be launching and spearheading a global platform that will allow parts and objects of all sizes to be seamlessly designed and 3d printed on-demand, across the world. Much of their focus lies in distributed manufacturing, which essentially means the ability to create parts in many locations instead of one.
“Siemens is one of the only companies addressing the diverse needs of all additive manufacturing (3d printing) market participants – from designers and engineers, to manufacturers, 3D printing machine OEMs, material vendors and software providers – with a comprehensive set of seamless technology solutions for distributed industrial additive manufacturing and co-innovation,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and chief executive officer of Siemens PLM Software.
Platforms like this do already exist, including 3D Hubs and Make XYZ, and when a company like Siemens jumps into the fray, it does validate the idea of distributed manufacturing that these companies have been promoting for years.
“Today’s announcement builds on that leadership with a platform aimed at instantly connecting the people, technology, equipment and expertise needed to efficiently address mutual business opportunities.”
Let's say you're a product design company based in Illinois, prototyping a new part for a client in Vietnam. With Siemens platform, you can have that part designed within Siemens' system and 3d printed locally in Vietnam, providing quicker feedback and turnaround for the new part. This is the power of distributed manufacturing - making parts closer to the customer, cutting down on waste, speeding up delivery time and lowering costs.
The new digital platform is expected to launch in mid-2018.