Hexagon has partnered with Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), a national research and development (R&D) centre, to provide software that will help meet a Swedish initiative to advance the use of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies and accelerate the adoption of innovative and sustainable processes in European industry. Established by RISE to increase the accessibility of AM across industrial sectors, the new Application Center for Additive Manufacturing will be overseen by a consortium of industry leaders and provide manufacturers with access to a host of AM technologies, including software solutions from Hexagon for AM and quality control.
Industrial applications of AM are demonstrating value and gaining acceptance, but there remain numerous manufacturing challenges that must be resolved before barriers to adoption can be drastically lowered. In addition to the relative nascency of AM, significant challenges include a lack of skilled labour, insufficient understanding of the behaviour of new materials, the limitations of hardware and software solutions, and the absence of consistent AM process standards. The new Application Center for Additive Manufacturing provides an independent and risk-free environment where manufacturers can “test before they invest” with the centre’s state-of-the-art facilities. Manufacturers such as Volvo, Siemens Energy, and Ericsson will use the centre to evaluate and validate entire AM ecosystems through collaboration with researchers, scientists, industry experts, and partners.
Members of the centre will gain access to a variety of world-leading industrial metal AM and post-processing capabilities:
- Two powder-bed fusion systems from SLM Solutions a twin-laser SLM 280 2.0 and an SLM 125 HL
- A directed energy deposition (DED) system from AddUp — a Modulo 400
- A metal binder jetting (MBJ) system from Digital Metal, a Markforged company
- A hot isostatic press (HIP) from Quintus Technologies
- A H3000 post-processing and finishing system from RENA
The centre will also support the exploration of 3D printing with polymers and ceramics, providing several on-site fused deposition modelling (FDM), stereolithography (SLA), and selective laser sintering (SLS) systems, providing members a test bed for most AM and post-processing technologies.
Using the full breadth of Hexagon’s software portfolio, manufacturers will be able to explore the possibilities that AM offers for industrial applications, orchestrate high-quality manufacturing from concept to product, and build their 3D printing capabilities. This includes design for AM (DfAM), process planning and optimisation for metal AM processes, including the emerging high-volume technologies systems on-site and hybrid manufacturing. Members will also be able to use polymer and composite-based methods more effectively by refining both the part design and process in digital reality before any material is used.
Dr. Seyed B. Hosseini, director of the Application Center for Additive Manufacturing, said: “The Application Center for Additive Manufacturing is a unique co-creation platform where industrial partners along the entire ecosystem will work together with the target of increasing the utilisation of additive manufacturing across various sectors. Hexagon’s participation is a milestone for us, as we massively strengthen our competence in design and process simulation for additive manufacturing.
“Being able to work closely and at an early stage of projects with the Hexagon team will bring the crucial ability to reduce the number of iterations in the entire value chain, and I’m confident that we will also offer valuable input back on how Hexagon’s software is being adopted by the industry and together drive forward even better solutions.”
Mathieu Pérennou, additive manufacturing solutions director at Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, said: “This collaboration offers a completely unique opportunity for companies to explore and test product development at the new centre, demonstrating the possibilities additive manufacturing holds for all industries. It’s a win for the entire industry, with the partnership combining our years of expertise in driving 3D printing innovation with access to the most cutting-edge tools and R&D teams. Our partnership with RISE will allow companies to explore the capabilities of our software, accelerate its improvement, and spur on Industry 4.0 with the digitalisation of additive manufacturing workflows.”
The centre will also act as a catapult for small and medium enterprises, serving Sweden’s automotive, telecom, maritime, energy, and heavy industries. Catalytic collaboration between manufacturers and providers of materials, machinery, and software is expected to help validate and advance new technologies that resolve problems and address challenges from powder, to print, to parts.