CEAD, Siemens intensify collaboration for industrial 3D printing of large composite parts

CEAD’s new AM Flexbot includes Siemens’ Sinumerik CNC and Siemens will include a CEAD 3D printing system in its Additive Manufacturing Experience Center 


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CEAD and Siemens collaborate to develop AM Flexbot

CEAD and Siemens intensify their collaboration and showcase their latest development the AM Flexbot. Source | Siemens, CEAD.


CEAD is a technology supplier of 3D printing equipment on the frontier of large-scale 3D printing with glass and carbon fibers. The CFAM Prime is CEAD’s first machine with their patented Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing (CFAM) technology. This gantry-based 3D printing system enables the printing of large, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic objects (4 by 2 by 1.5 meters) in a relatively short time due to a high average output of 15 kilograms per hour. The large CFAM system is controlled by Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D sl for movement precision.

This collaboration now intensifies with a new development, the AM Flexbot, which includes Siemens’ Sinumerik CNC with Run MyRobot /Direct Control, a Comau robot arm and CEAD’s single-screw extruder unit. With the Comau and Sinumerik Run MyRobot /Direct Control solution, the robot kinematics are fully integrated into a CNC system. Thus, the required precision in the complex robot movement can be achieved to enable not only the correct deposition of material but also the milling of the part to a final contour. This combination is now ready for market and CEAD is looking into adding multiple other features as well. “By using Siemens’ Sinumerik Run MyRobot /Direct Control together with a Comau robot arm in our latest solution, we are able to deliver a modular system scalable to fit our customers’ needs because many different functions can be added at any time,” explains CEAD operations director Lucas Janssen, who is also one of the founders of the company. “We are very pleased to work with Siemens and their reliable products.”

Siemens will include a CEAD 3D printing system into its Additive Manufacturing Experience Center (AMEC, Erlangen, Germany) to show the potential of large-scale Additive Manufacturing with thermoplastic composite materials. The AMEC provides an excellent insight into real industrialized Additive Manufacturing use-cases with Siemens’ seamlessly integrated digital toolchain and state of the art automation for various additive technologies. More than 4,000 customers and industry experts have been visiting the AMEC since its opening in April 2018. “We are delighted to show an industrial solution from CEAD for multi-axis composite printing combining Comau’s robotics, CEAD’s Additive Manufacturing and our best in class CNC technology. The end-to-end offering integrated with our Digital Enterprise portfolio addresses an important need for large scale, highly flexible and economically efficient industrial applications at the same time,” explains Dr. Karsten Heuser, vice president Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital Industries.