Renishaw and BAE Systems to develop 3D printing for aerospace and defence

Image card optimised (24)
Image card optimised (24)

Renishaw and BAE Systems have signed an agreement to collaborate on development of 3D printing capability for the aerospace and defence industries.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is designed to help improve performance, reduce costs and speed up manufacturing processes on combat aircraft of the future.

The two companies will bring together their expertise in additive manufacturing (AM) to maximise the application of this emerging manufacturing technique. The agreement also opens up opportunities for joint R&D.

Members of the Renishaw team visit the New Product Development Centre at BAE Systems Samlesbury

The MoU was signed by manufacturing & materials strategy & technology director for BAE Systems, Andy Schofield, and Will Lee, chief executive at Renishaw, during a visit to BAE’s manufacturing site in Samlesbury, Lancashire.

The site is already home to several Renishaw advanced AM machines which form part of a 1,000m2 dedicated New Product Development & Process Development Centre (NPPDC), where the latest emerging technologies and processes such as AM and virtual reality are explored and tested for application into aircraft design and manufacture.

With a particular focus on AM, investments into technologies like those provided by Renishaw help to ensure BAE Systems remains at the cutting edge of aerospace manufacturing, exploiting the latest technologies and processes to continually improve its advanced manufacturing capabilities.

BAE Systems began research into additive manufacturing techniques more than two decades ago and is currently using the technology to make production standard components for the Typhoon fighter aircraft.

It is also applied in the rapid prototyping of new technology concepts as part of a drive to deliver Tempest – a capable, affordable and exportable next generation future combat air system.

Andy Schofield said: “Additive manufacturing has and will continue to deliver significant benefits to our sector. Renishaw is a world leader in additive manufacturing and we have been impressed with the quality of parts produced on its machines. This agreement allows us to create a more open and collaborative environment to share ideas and knowledge. In an environment of fast developing technology and challenged budgets, collaboration and innovation are absolutely essential in order to retain cutting edge capability. I’m really excited by the potential this partnership has to help us deliver that.”

Will Lee said: “We have a great relationship already with BAE Systems, developed over many years through the application of our metrology products and have more recently worked with them on evaluating and understanding the performance envelope of our AM systems. We are delighted that they have been impressed with our systems, and this, together with our vision for AM development, has led to the strengthening of our collaboration. We look forward to the exciting opportunities that this strategic collaboration presents to further develop AM technologies for demanding aerospace production applications.”


BAE Systems


BAE Systems

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