The Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC), a new UK-based additive manufacturing facility’s opening in Q1 2021, has purchased two Renishaw RenAM 500Q machines. The metal SLM machines were chosen to increase efficiencies and quality while reducing each part’s weight, waste and costs – as well as a joint development collaboration with Renishaw’s additive manufacturing team.
A key step towards the Digital Manufacturing Centre’s 2,000 sqm production facility opening in Q1 2021, as well as a statement of intent, the Renishaw RenAM 500Q machines have been chosen by the DMC due to their advanced capabilities within metal additive manufacturing, increased productivity and quality control, as well as Renishaw’s proven capabilities in additive manufacturing.
Renishaw’s development collaboration with the Digital Manufacturing Centre will see the DMC’s engineering team provide critical feedback, development and learning of the machines and their outputs, to ensure maximum efficiencies and increase innovation within metal AM. While for Renishaw, the Digital Manufacturing Centre will provide a range of new commercial applications for its technologies.
“The process of machine and material selection for the Digital Manufacturing Centre is crucial to our success and therefore a decision process we haven’t taken lightly. Offering the service of being a technology partner to our clients means that we [the Digital Manufacturing Centre] have to be armed with state-of-the-art, innovative additive manufacturing methods and machinery, and learnings within that to ensure we’re constantly offering the best technologies,” explained Kieron Salter, Digital Manufacturing Centre CEO.
“The decision to forge a close collaboration with Renishaw and purchase two RenAM 500Q machines was a natural step to offer our clients all of these things – Salter added – while benefitting from the support of a local manufacturing supplier. Renishaw is a leader in metal additive manufacturing, its RenAM 500Q machine offers unrivaled productivity, quality control and the ability to create a light component but with high torsional strength – one of the key benefits of metal AM innovations – as well as reduced costs per part. Not only this but our close collaboration will mean the DMC’s engineers will be in close contact to Renishaw’s team to ensure maximum efficiencies and learnings within additive manufacturing, so we are constantly learning, evolving and innovating.”
The RenAM 500Q’s core capabilities and specifications are due to its large build volume, increased number of lasers, as well as an innovative gas flow system within the chamber. The Renishaw machines that the DMC has purchased offer a larger than normal metal additive manufacturing build volume (250 mm x 250 mm x 350 mm) and class-leading four high-power 500 W lasers that can access the entire powder bed surface simultaneously. This provides a four-time higher build rate compared to single-laser systems, which means faster builds and reduced costs per part.
The machines are also fitted with an intelligent gas flow system that removes process emissions from the build volume, resulting in processing conditions that provide a stable processing environment that has measurably driven up quality standards to levels not previously achieved with metal AM technologies. This means that the final parts exhibit consistent properties — they are high in density and have high tensile strength with excellent ductility and fatigue performance. This means the DMC can offer an end product that’s both strong and light at the same time. Therefore, the Renishaw RenAM 500Q could be applied to a wide range of applications, ranging from racing cars to dentistry.
Based at Silverstone Park at the heart of the Silverstone Technology Cluster, the Digital Manufacturing Centre is focused on bringing metal and polymer additive manufacturing production solutions to a range of industries. Described as being sector agnostic, the DMC’s core focus and offering will be to companies within automotive, aerospace, defence, industrial, medical and space, both in small- and large-scale projects.
“Providing our RenAM 500Q to the Digital Manufacturing Centre, and being the first metal additive manufacturing machine supplier announced, is an exciting moment for our AM team. Being an established global additive manufacturing machine supplier, we’re delighted that the DMC has chosen Renishaw to collaborate with, as well as sharing critical learnings to continue innovating and developing the potential for AM,” commented Andy Robinson, Renishaw’s Director of Additive Manufacturing.
“We are looking forward to seeing what the Digital Manufacturing Centre and its clients can create and efficiencies the RenAM 500Q system can bring, both from the DMC’s physical opening next year [Q1 2021] and in the future.”