Optimizing Engine Design with Metal Additive Manufacturing
To optimize the design of its engine cylinders and to gain expertise in AM, Cobra Aero visited a Renishaw Additive Manufacturing Solutions Center.
September 3, 2019
Renishaw, a precision engineering and manufacturing technologies company, worked with Michigan-based Cobra Aeroto to improve the engine manufacturer’s design processes for aircraft and motorcycle engines. After completing the project with Renishaw, Cobra Aero invested in an AM 400 system to increase its in-house additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities.
To optimize the design of its engine cylinders and to gain expertise in AM, Cobra Aero visited a Renishaw Additive Manufacturing Solutions Center. There they collaborated with Renishaw engineers to discover how AM could improve the design of a cylinder for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
“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,” says Sean Hilbert, president of Cobra Aero.
“We decided to redesign the cylinder because it would improve the overall performance of the engine,” continues Hilbert. “Modifications to this high-value part were evolving rapidly, which is why we chose AM to manufacture this component.”
“By using metal additive manufacturing, Cobra Aero was able to design a part that was unique to the application,” says Stephen Anderson, AM business development manager at Renishaw Inc. “Thanks to our laser powder bed fusion technology, they were able to produce a single part with complex lattice structures that performs better than one produced with conventional manufacturing techniques.”
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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