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Metrology

Hexagon Industrializes High-Quality Additive Manufacturing With Open Ecosystem Strategy

Solutions provider to the world’s leading manufacturers says open data and collaboration is key to industrializing additive manufacturing

Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 13:00

(Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence: North Kingstown, RI) -- Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has revealed its plans to build the industry’s most flexible and open additive manufacturing (AM) ecosystem to help overcome complexities in 3D printing processes and support customers in effectively building their product development and manufacturing workflows.

With several new additions to the ecosystem announced this week alone—Sciaky, Meltio, CADS Additive, AMcubator and Additive Center—and many more under way, Hexagon’s suite of AM partners and products is becoming one of the most comprehensive on the market. Plans to continue building an open ecosystem from concept to customer with the shared purpose of high quality were revealed at 3D printing industry event Formnext 2021, where the challenges of industrializing AM have been at the forefront of discussions.

“Far from Industry 4.0 creating a ´connected´ end-to-end supply chain, today many 3D printers and protocols are creating walled kingdoms´of hardware that are incompatible with certain CAE tools, and vendors are introducing machines with proprietary connectivity, standards and protocols designed not to work with machinery from rivals,” says Paolo Guglielmini, president of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “Just as large manufacturers drove the provision of open factory automation, it’s important we vendors now break down barriers to new manufacturing technologies that offer more flexibility and efficiency. Instead, open data standards should be seen as a growth enabler.”

Hexagon’s AM ecosystem offers customers a broad spectrum of solutions as a result of working closely with material suppliers (e.g., Solvay, COVESTRO), printer and machine-tool companies (e.g., Stratasys, Markforged, Renishaw, Additive Industries, Sciaky, GEFERTEC, Meltio), software and platform providers (e.g., Authentise, CADS Additive, Elise), and service bureaus. Through open collaboration, it is helping manufacturers to build confidence in performance, quality, and repeatability, while allowing customers to integrate new AM technologies with their existing solutions, tools, and workflows. Solutions that leverage Hexagon and ecosystem partners are used by every part of the supply chain, from part producers to global OEMs, with the common aim of producing high-quality parts to global industrial standards.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has a consultative approach, developing long-term relationships with the biggest players in global manufacturing, as well as disruptive new players. With a community of more than 500,000 users, its product development and manufacturing technologies are used throughout the supply chain. Hexagon also invests 10 percent of net sales in R&D and holds thousands of active patents. In additive manufacturing, the company collaborates with leading research institutes and projects, including the EU MANUELA project, Lift, RMIT University, Purdue University, Materials Innovation Guild (MIG) at the University of Louisville, and more. It is also an active contributor to the development of emerging standards to contribute to the development of effective interoperability between additive manufacturing software tools.

“Through continued openness, our ecosystem benefits both sides of the exchange,” says Mathieu Pérennou, director of strategy and global business development for additive manufacturing at Hexagon. “Our partners can benefit from Hexagon’s technologies and expertise while getting the opportunity to collaborate and solve problems for our extensive global manufacturing customer base, while our customers benefit from that deeper collaboration and ability to build workflows based on truly best-of-breed solutions that are fully tailored to their individual goals. We want to continue to expand that ecosystem to industrialize AM and realize its benefits for high-performance components, meeting the same quality expectations that our customers have for traditional methods, and we need to make it possible at higher volumes than AM with consistent results at every global plant.”

“We fully agree that an ecosystem-based approach is required to enable manufacturers to understand the full potential of AM, as demonstrated through our recently launched GrabCad AM platform and our new open approach to material development,” adds Jeff Hemenway, vice president, business segments for Stratasys. “Our partnership with Hexagon allows customers to accelerate the design and simulated testing of parts and material performance for printing. And, as the committed global leader in advancing polymer-based additive manufacturing, together with Hexagon and across industries, we are propelling our customers’ ability to realize the value of AM in production.”

“We are often printing complex parts of varying size and shapes, and we need to get them right first time,” says Alex Redwood, head of design AM, Additive Industries. “Our unconstrained base plate technology is particularly important to simulate accurately when it comes to the behavior of large components during build. We have found that Hexagon’s Simufact Additive build simulation captures this behavior incredibly well with short simulation times. We look forward to pushing the limits of industrial AM design and exploring other synergies through the projects we are currently undertaking.”

“Our collaboration with Hexagon is a win for all the industry, helping our customers to achieve the best possible results with accurate build simulation, optimal use of materials, and a shared passion for innovation to help our customers solve their most challenging design challenges for metal AM,” says Daniel Stadlmayr, technical director, CADS Additive.

For more additive manufacturing resources and information, visit https://iamready.hexagonmi.com.

About Hexagon

Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software, and autonomous technologies. It is putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, quality, and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications. Its technologies are shaping production and people-related ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous—ensuring a scalable, sustainable future. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that use data from design and engineering, production, and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. For more information, visit hexagonmi.com. Hexagon has approximately 21,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 3.8bn Euro. Learn more at hexagon.com and follow @HexagonAB.

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