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New Partnership Advances the Development of 3D Printed Cars

Siemens and Local Motors have formed a new partnership which is intended to help advance the future of manufacturing by optimizing the development and large-scale 3D printing of cars.

The partnership combines the power of Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) software technology with Local Motors leadership in co-created and 3D-printed vehicles -- a process called direct digital manufacturing (DDM). With a shared vision for the future of product development, Local Motors plans to enhance productivity in its innovative Local Motors (LM) Labs program by leveraging Siemens expertise in creating "digital twins," while Siemens expects to further enhance its digital enterprise software suite to support the latest advances in additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

"We have been partners with Siemens since 2011, and this announcement takes that partnership to the next level by enabling our community of co-creators to innovate even faster," said Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors. "We developed the world's first co-created vehicle and 3D-printed car, and now our LM Labs program is providing the world's makers with a way -- both online and offline -- to create new technologies to advance the future of transportation."

Siemens Solid Edge® software, a mainstream computer-aided design (CAD) application, has been in use at Local Motors for several years and has been crucial in facilitating its co-creation model. Using Siemens exclusive synchronous technology, Local Motors is able to seamlessly import into Solid Edge non-native CAD models from design collaborators around the world, and then use Solid Edge to easily edit these models.

This new partnership expands the use of Solid Edge and adds Siemens NX™ software and its Fibersim™ portfolio to all Local Motors facilities around the world. NX, a comprehensive computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering simulation (CAD/CAM/CAE) solution and Fibersim, a portfolio of software for composites engineering, are both leading solutions in the global manufacturing industry with a high concentration in the automotive sector. By expanding its use of Siemens digital enterprise software suite, Local Motors and its community of co-creators can leverage digital twins to increase productivity and quality in product design and DDM.

DDM and digital twins save time, reduce costs and increase quality by integrating and streamlining the design and production processes. The DDM process, which takes advantage of additive manufacturing technologies including 3D printing, produces parts directly from 3D models. DDM helps eliminate the need for tooling, removes time lag between design and production, and simplifies redesign.

Siemens digital twin software technology links design and production by enabling the creation of virtual models that accurately represent the form, function and performance of a product and its production system. These high fidelity digital twins enable engineers to test the functionality of the products and manufacturing processes in the virtual world in order to predict and optimize performance in the physical world.

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