Sir Ben Ainslie and INEOS TEAM UK are implementing metal AM technology from Renishaw in their bid to bring the America’s Cup home to Britain (where the competition originated). As the team’s official precision measurement and additive manufacturing (AM) partner, Renishaw is contributing its engineering expertise to aid and fast track the build process as they bid to win the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.
One application that was highlighted is the T5 Mast Ball. The mast ball transmits power from the rig into the foiling hull and was built lighter and stronger using AM technology. Renishaw has also helped the team to optimize the design and manufacture of parts, such as the mast step, a structural component for the team’s test boat.
This isn’t the first time an America’s Cup contender has made use of AM technology: American Magic, another 2021 America’s Cup challenger, announced in May that it would be using Stratasys carbon fiber extrusion technology in its own development activities. In fact, Renishaw itself had also supported the BAR Land Rover team in the 2017 edition.
The America’s Cup is the oldest international trophy in world sport and one that Britain has never won. First won by America in 1851, the competition was turned into a challenge trophy, open to sailing clubs from around the world. INEOS TEAM UK was formed to challenge for the America’s Cup in 2021, with petrochemical and manufacturing company INEOS making the biggest ever investment in the competition. British sailing legend and INEOS TEAM UK Principal, Sir Ben Ainslie, will skipper the yacht.
The AC75 boat will be a 75-foot foiling mono-hull built and equipped with some of the best of British technology. To aid the team in building the technologically advanced boat, Renishaw is supplying its products and expertise in the fields of metal additive manufacturing, position encoders, manufacturing process control and Raman spectroscopy. This includes contributing to the design optimization and manufacture of 3D printed metal structural components; digital position feedback to improve the boat’s performance, including monitoring control surfaces; and material analysis.
“Renishaw is proud to again contribute our expertise to the British America’s Cup challenge, having supported Sir Ben’s team for the 2017 challenge in Bermuda,” explained Chris Pockett, Renishaw’s Head of Communications. “It means a great deal to us that our past contributions have been recognized and that we will be a key partner for INEOS TEAM UK, providing a range of innovative solutions and becoming an integral part of its engineering team. Leading manufacturing technologies are crucial to the performance of the boat,” added Pockett. “From giving real-time position feedback during racing, to the use of metal additive manufacturing for lightweight, highly complex components, we are very excited about the contribution that we can make to the performance of the boat.”
“We’re really excited to be working with Renishaw. They’ve been a fantastic partner to us and we’re really looking forward to the challenge to bring the Cup home in 2021 with their support,” added Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper of INEOS TEAM UK. “We chose to work with Renishaw because they have such a breadth of world-class engineering and scientific design knowledge,” added Mark Chisnell, Technology Coordinator at INEOS TEAM UK. “They are a fantastically resourced company with great facilities and people.”