Cobra Aero, an engine manufacturing company based in Michigan, USA, has invested in a Renishaw AM 400 metal Additive Manufacturing system from Renishaw, headquartered in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, UK, after working with Renishaw to optimise the design of its engine cylinders by AM.
According to Renishaw, Cobra Aero worked with the company to gain expertise in Additive Manufacturing, visiting Renishaw’s USA Additive Manufacturing Solutions Center. The companies collaborated to improve the design of a cylinder for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); according to Cobra Aero, the use of AM allowed the company to design a cylinder which incorporated a lattice structure to increase airflow, as well as being strong and lightweight.
“Staying at the cutting-edge of manufacturing is important to Cobra Aero,” explained Sean Hilbert, Cobra Aero President. “Investing in AM allows us to develop tools and new products for high-value, small-volume applications, speed up the manufacturing process and produce designs that would not be possible using conventional subtractive machining.”
Hilbert added, “We decided to redesign the cylinder because of its importance in an engine. Design changes to this part of the engine must happen rapidly, and it is also a high value part, which is why we have chosen to additively manufacture this component. Improving the performance of the cylinder will also improve the overall performance of the engine.”
Stephen Anderson, AM Business Development Manager, Renishaw – USA, stated, “By using metal Additive Manufacturing, Cobra Aero was able to design a part that was unique to the application. By using our Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) technology, Cobra Aero was able to produce a single part with complex lattice structures that performs better than conventional component manufacturing techniques.”