Additive manufacturing (AM) has taken on a major role in the development and production of components and spare parts for Siemens Energy in recent years. In addition to setting up its own AM production lines and acquiring AM service provider Materials Solutions in 2016, the company is now expanding its commitment in this area with its investment in the start-up MakerVerse.
MakerVerse is a joint venture initiative between industry-leaders Siemens Energy, ZEISS, and financial/venture capital investors, including 9.5 ventures. The new company combines cutting- edge industry expertise with profound knowledge in digital venture-building. The new venture is creating a one-stop fulfillment platform that connects industrial clients with a global network of certified additive manufacturing suppliers for projects like design prototypes and producing on- demand spare parts. MakerVerse covers the full technological service spectrum, starting with core 3D printing/additive manufacturing technologies in the initial launch phase and expanding into further relevant on-demand technologies such as CNC and injection molding in the near future.
The platform offers features including instant quoting, automated manufacturability checks, streamlined supplier and quality management, and industrial-level quality assurance. MakerVerse will be based in Berlin, with its initial focus on the European market. The public launch of the platform is planned for early mid-2022.
Siemens Energy has one the of the largest fleets of metal additive manufacturing printers worldwide and is in full serial production of dedicated gas turbine parts: for example, combustion components and turbine vanes. Additive manufacturing is also used to repair highly complex and stressed turbine blades and burner tips and to accelerate a variety of development programs.
Siemens Energy’s AM facilities in Berlin (Germany) and Finspang (Sweden) and the Materials Solutions branches in Worcester (UK) and Orlando (U.S.) are primarily using laser-power bed fusion technology (L-PBF). Siemens Energy is also constantly looking for new methods and new partners to optimize its supply chains of spart parts and specialized tooling for its customer base. This is how an industrial-scale digital platform like MakerVerse can help extend the range of additively manufactured parts to new technologies and materials like polymers. The goal of reducing inventories while ensuring fast deliveries is another driver for investing in new digital supply chains.