Renishaw has 3D printed a special gift fit for royalty. The company additively manufactured a replica of its nineteenth century Mill headquarters building and gave the unique piece to Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, when she officially opened Renishaw's new Innovation Centre and presented the company with its eighteenth Queen's Award. The visit came 35 years after HRH The Princess Royal opened an extension to the company’s first commercial premises.
The replica of the mill building was additively manufactured in titanium using Renishaw's AM250 machine. The part was produced in one build that took three days to manufacture before it was heat treated for stress reduction and after a further finishing process was mounted on a piece of treated pine taken from an original beam in the 1802 mill building.
"A few years ago we milled a replica of our Mill HQ building so we already had CAD designs that we could edit to optimise for the additive process," explained Jeremy Pullin, Rapid Manufacturing Manager, Renishaw. "This meant adding channels to allow powder to run off. It also gave us design freedom to be able to add minute definition, like roof tiles and window detailing.
"The original milled model was made from solid aluminium and produced in multiple parts - as you can imagine, it was quite heavy. The flexibility of the additive manufacturing process allowed us to produce the piece as one hollow part, reducing weight and production time."
Renishaw's latest £20m Innovation Centre at its HQ site near Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, gives the company an additional 153,000ft2 of space for research and development and corporate services staff, as well as demonstration, training and conference facilities.
It is one of a series of significant investments that Renishaw is making to secure its future growth in the UK, and in its many overseas markets. This includes a new 90,000ft2 facility for its Additive Manufacturing Products Division, based in Stone, Staffordshire, UK.
HRH The Princess Royal visited Renishaw once before in 1980, when the company had just one facility and employed around 100 people. The Renishaw Group now has more than 70 offices in 33 countries, with over 4,000 employees worldwide.