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Renishaw’s EVO Project – additive manufacturing for industrial use

25 November 2014

Renishaw is pleased to unveil the machine that it is developing specifically for production manufacturing. Provisionally named EVO Project, it is the first additive manufacturing system designed and engineered in-house at Renishaw and reflects the company's 40 years of experience in supplying high quality equipment to demanding global manufacturing businesses.

The new machine, which has a strong emphasis on automation, monitoring technologies and reduced operator interaction, is designed for single material industrial production. Powder handling is almost entirely hands off, whilst powder recirculation, recycling and recovery are all carried out within the inert atmosphere of the system, protecting both the user and the integrity of the material.

The EVO Project machine incorporates a high power 500 W laser which will aid productivity whilst still maintaining precision and surface finish. It also boasts a class leading high capacity filtration system, a large 19” HMI user interface and intelligent workflow to further reduce the need for operator interaction.

The new machine, which is planned to be available in the second-half of 2015, is designed to complement and not replace the current Renishaw AM250 system which is better suited for flexible manufacturing and research applications where changes between materials are a requirement. The AM250 has an interchangeable hopper system which allows various materials to be used on the same machine.

Renishaw continues to develop the AM250 system which is also benefitting from some of the developments made for the EVO Project machine. This has led to the recent introduction of the PlusPac™ upgrade pack which offers improvements to Z-axis seals and chamber lighting, plus substantially improved gas recirculation and filtration.

At Euromold 2014, taking place between 25th and 28th November in Frankfurt, the Renishaw stand will feature an EVO Project machine, AM250 system and an AM250 fitted with the PlusPac upgrade.

For further information on the EVO Project please visit www.renishaw.com/evoproject and sign up to receive updates on machine developments.

A short video is also available at http://youtu.be/HyP2aP7BHRk.

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The GreenTeam initially opted for aluminium wheel carriers, but it soon became clear that only a combination of a force-optimised design with less material, and a light material with a very high tensile strength, such as titanium, could further reduce the weight of the wheel carrier. “Compared with previous aluminium wheel carriers, Renishaw was able to save a total of 1.5 kg in vehicle weight, enabling the lightest vehicle so far.” Renishaw GmbH (Germany)

Titanium alloy is a wise material choice when you need lightweight, high strength and corrosion resistant components, however titanium is notoriously difficult to machine and cast. The Green Team found it hard to find a sponsor able to manufacture the optimised wheel carrier design using conventional methods. With its metal powder-based additive manufacturing system, capable of producing complex component geometries, Renishaw became the new premium GreenTeam sponsor.

Support structures are necessary for the majority of additive manufacturing builds. They anchor the build and dissipate heat, allowing overhanging parts of the structure to be built up layer-by-layer. The wheel carriers were additively built using Renishaw's AM250 additive manufacturing system using minimal supports, which are easily removed post build.

The need for support structures may seem wasteful, however in traditional subtractive machining the ratio of material needed to produce a finished part such as this can be as high as 19:1. With additive manufacturing that ratio is closer to 1:1, in this case 1.12:1.

Renishaw provides a design review service to anyone considering Renishaw's laser melting systems as a production solution. Your component or assembly will be reviewed by Renishaw's applications engineers who can make recommendations on DfM (Design for Manufacture), digitally process the model, and build a sample component using one of its on-site AM250 systems. A pre-build report, inspection report, and component price estimate can also be provided on request.

About Empire Cycles

Empire Cycles is a unique British bike designing and manufacturing company in the North-West of England. Passionate about using great British engineering to create elite products, the Company offers innovative designs to the world's mountain bikers and downhillers.

By working together, Renishaw and Empire Cycles optimised the bicycle design for additive manufacture, eliminating many of the downward facing surfaces that would otherwise have needed wasteful support structures.