The HORIZON (AM) project, a research and development programme that aims to develop additive manufacturing (AM) techniques into viable production processes for aerospace parts, chose Delcam’s Birmingham headquarters for its fourth project meeting.
The GKN Aerospace-led project consortium consists of Delcam, Renishaw, Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, with backing from the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The consortium is working towards achieving a process qualification level of TRL 6 (technology readiness level), the prototype stage of product development, using metal powder bed fusion technology with Inconel 718 and Ti-64.
Representing GKN Aerospace, senior R&D project leader Tim Hope updated the group about his teams’ latest studies using the various additive manufacturing machines, one of which is supplied by partner Renishaw. Going forward, GKN Aerospace is looking to Delcam to develop its PartBuilder software within the context of additive manufacturing workflows. Currently in development, Delcam’s software solution unites additive and subtractive technologies, combining the geometrical freedom offered by AM with the surface finish and accuracy that is only achievable through subtractive manufacturing. The software is also utilised during the design stage to investigate the optimisation strategies that are possible when producing parts using additive manufacturing processes. Optimised design meshes are then re-modelled in line with aerospace and manufacturing best practice using the remodelling capabilities of Delcam’s PowerSHAPE software package.