Jun 27, 2017 | By Tess

Renishaw Ibérica, S.A.U., the Spanish subsidiary of UK metal 3D printing and metrology company Renishaw, has embarked on the Futuralve project, an initiative which brings together several Spanish companies, universities, and tech centers for the development of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies for next-generation, high-speed turbines for the aerospace industry.

The Futuralve project is being led by ITP, an aerospace engine and turbine manufacturer, and is being funded by the Spanish government through its Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). The four-year initiative has the goal of revolutionizing the manufacturing process for aerospace turbines.

As part of the project, Renishaw will be participating in the development of lightweight and highly resistant 3D printed materials, and will provide its services and equipment for metrology and part verification processes. Specifically, it will provide access to its five-axis REVO measurement system and its SPRINT on-machine contact scanning system.

Renishaw will also work in partnership with the Seville-based Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) to develop machine parameters for nickel-based alloys and to optimize 3D printing processes for the metals by analyzing their mechanical properties.

Renishaw Ibérica's product display showroom

In addition to developing new additive manufacturing materials and processes for turbine manufacturing, the Futuralve project will also focus part of its energies on the analysis of turbines manufactured using more traditional processes—machining, for instance. The goal will be to determine how these turbine parts can be adapted for laser-based 3D printing technologies.

The project stems from the overall notion that 3D printing can offer more flexibility in terms of design, and can help manufacturers to cut back on material consumption, development times, and even costs.

“High-performance components within aerospace turbines require materials able to maintain excellent mechanical properties in very aggressive environments,” explained Dr. Marc Gordon, a PhD of Material Science at Renishaw Ibérica. “In this framework, nickel based super-alloys that are manufactured from subtractive machining have certain design limitations, which may hinder the overall efficiency of the engine/system. Therefore, a convenient scenario is identified for additive manufacturing, where complex geometries unreachable by conventional procedures could be manufactured.”

REVO system measures a turbine blade

With its expertise in metrology, Renishaw will work with the Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Centre (CFAA) to study and test 3D printed parts using its REVO inspection system.

“The Futuralve project, as well as incorporating our coordinate measuring machine and additive manufacturing products, will utilize Renishaw´s innovative on-machine tool contact system SPRINT,” added Víctor Escobar, Renishaw Ibérica´s Managing Director. “SPRINT significantly increases the number of scanned points on parts manufactured or repaired in a way that allows a more precise machining and a reduction of measurement times.”

Other companies and organizations taking part in the Futuralve initiative include Metalúrgica Marina, Mizar Additive Manufacturing, ONA, and Metrología Sariki, each of which are contributing their own specialization to the development and production of 3D printed turbine parts.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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