An additively manufactured part produced by APWorks, Munich, Germany, for sailing team ORACLE USA is on display at the America’s Cup exhibition at the Mariners’ Museum, Virginia, USA, the company states. The part is featured in the ‘Speed and Innovation’ section of the exhibition. The Americas Cup is an annual sailing competition, and the longest running US sporting event.
The part on display is a metal additively manufactured forward organiser, a highly complex part of the system used to control a racing yacht wing or sail. It is manufactured from APWorks’ proprietary high strength Scalmalloy®, an aluminium powder alloy said to combine the lightness of aluminium with almost the same strength as titanium. APWorks’ part was designed specifically for Additive Manufacturing, reducing production time greatly compared to a conventional machining process.
According to APWorks, weight was a key factor in the part’s design. Racing catamarans can reach speeds of nearly 50 knots (93kph) – as such, a very lightweight part was needed to optimise the boat’s performance in the water. By additively manufacturing the part in Scalmalloy, APWorks reports that it produced a part weighing 57% less than the conventional alternative.