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Trumpf and Siemens partner to bring metal 3D printing into production

Laser system manufacturer Trumpf has entered a partnership with engineering technology giant Siemens to help industrialise laser metal fusion technology and make the additive manufacturing of metal parts an integral part of production processes. The partnership was announced by the two companies at the Formnext trade fair in Frankfurt, taking place from 15 to 18 November.

The new software solution will be sold with Trumpf's TruPrint Laser Metal Fusion printers, which are used to create complex interior structures. (Credit: Trumpf)

In the partnership, the two companies will be developing a comprehensive software solution for the design and preparation of 3D printed metal parts. The aim of the work is to integrate and streamline the entire powder-bed-based laser metal fusion process of Trumpf’s printing machines into Siemens’ NX software. The combined offering will address the part design and engineering of additive manufacturing, as well as the preparation of 3D printing with integrated build processor technology from Trumpf.

‘Our combined solution will offer customers a high degree of process reliability thanks to its use of smart product models through all phases of the process,’ said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. ‘There will be no need for data conversion because the tools for design, simulation, 3D printing and NC programming of metal parts are integrated into one system.’

The solution will combine the recently announced NX software with the Trumpf build processor, and will be sold with Trumpf TruPrint Laser Metal Fusion printers. The new software offers a standardised user interface across end-to-end additive manufacturing processes. It addresses the entire digital process chain in a single, integrated associative software environment, eliminating the need to use separate standalone applications for part design and data preparation.

‘These are decisive factors in making additive manufacturing a realistic proposition for industrial applications,’ commented Peter Leibinger, head of the Trumpf Laser Technology and the electronics division. ‘Our partnership will result in an optimum interaction between machine and software so customers can move forward with designs optimised for additive manufacturing.’

The collaboration’s new software package, TruTops Print with NX, brings multiple necessary functions together in one solution for the additive manufacturing of laser metal fusion parts with Trumpf printing machines.

At Formnext, Trumpf’s latest printers, the TruPrint 3000 and TruPrint 5000, were both featured. These medium format, laser metal fusion printers incorporate an innovative tool change cylinder concept, which allows its construction chamber and supply cylinders to be switched out quickly. With this, the new machines are geared towards the large-scale production of complex metal parts.

Also spotlighted by the company was its laser metal deposition technology, targeting sectors and applications such as additive manufacturing, joining technology and the manufacture of coating systems. Trumpf’s primary focus was on repair applications in the aviation industry at Formnext, along with the combination of various laser-based technologies in a single machine.

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