Optimising engine design with metal AM
Posted on 03 Sep 2019 and read 845 times
After working with global engineering technologies company Renishaw (www.renishaw.com/additive
) to optimise its design processes foraircraft and motorcycle engines, Michigan-based Cobra Aero invested in a Renishaw AM 400 system to increase its additive-manufacturing (AM) capabilities.
The company visited a Renishaw Additive Manufacturing Solutions Centre and collaborated with Renishaw engineers on the use of AM to improve the design of a cylinder for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Using AM technology allowed Cobra Aero to design a lattice structure for the cylinder to increase airflow; it also allowed the company to produce one solid lightweight part.
Sean Hilbert, president of Cobra Aero, said: “Staying at the cutting edge of manufacturing is important to Cobra Aero.
Investing in AM allows us to develop tools and new products for high-value small-volume applications, speed up the manufacturing process and produce designs that would not be possible using conventional subtractive machining.
“We decided to redesign the cylinder because of its importance in the engine. Design changes to this part must happen rapidly; it is also a high-value part, which is why we have chosen to additively manufacture this component.
“Improving the performance of the cylinder will also improve the overall performance of the engine.”
Stephen Anderson, AM business development manager at Renishaw Inc, said: “By using metal additive manufacturing, Cobra Aero was able to design a part that was unique to the application.
“By using our laser powder-bed fusion technology, Cobra Aero was able to produce a single part with complex lattice structures that performs better than one made by conventional component-manufacturing techniques.”