New Alliance Charts Evolving 3D Printing Landscape

Leading additive manufacturing companies are forming the Additive Manufacturing Industrialization Navigator (AM I Navigator) initiative. Particularly, leading additive manufacturing companies, Siemens, DyeMansion, BASF Forward AM, EOS, and HP, have put up the AM I Navigator Initiative.

The alliance offers a holistic maturity model that is shaping the stages of industrialization in the AM industry. Thus, increasing interoperability in additive manufacturing. The model defines the stages of industrial 3D printing along the entire process chain from material to machines to automation. Moreover, creating a common understanding of the different stages helps AM users find ways to scale and integrate additive manufacturing into traditional production workflows. 

The AM I Navigator Initiative navigates through the complexity of the evolving landscape in industrial 3D printing.

The factors for the respective stages come from different areas and include more than just production:

  • a strategy setup composed of an additive manufacturing strategy, applications and business cases.
  • Organizational structures and cultural maturity of employees.
  • Expertise, automation, and connectivity along the entire value chain from design through production to quality, maintenance, and service.

With the AM I Navigator to the right strategy for additive manufacturing

The status quo of additive manufacturing can be analyzed by applying a Maturity Check for each company. Particularly, following the structure of the AM I Navigator framework. The check is a structured approach that will show the current maturity level of additive manufacturing. Furthermore, the potential for improvement for the company in question.

Moreover, the Siemens Digital Manufacturing Excellence learnings are the basis of the approach. 

With the model companies can refine their current status as well as their future target into 5 levels

Depending on the use case and business model, a company needs a different “maturity level” in additive manufacturing. With the framework, AM users can refine their current status as well as their future target into five levels: from basic manual production to fully autonomous additive production. 

Based on this structured approach, detailed recommendations are available for action on how production can be further developed in the respective company. The individual steps in the process chain must be coordinated with each other. Hence, only open and interoperable additive manufacturing adds value to the entire production.

Suitable action steps will lead to the individually desired target state – depending on the application and maturity level of the company. The results from the checks will be available to the respective company. Most importantly, it may act as best practice to provide a detailed picture of the evolution of industrial 3D printing.

Cast off toward a larger initiative

Additional AM technology providers worldwide are welcome to join the first wave pioneers to further shape the AM I Navigator initiative together. Moreover, the proponents said the initiative is open to other thought leaders from all industries to build related offerings on it.