BAE Systems and Renishaw join forces to advance 3D printing

BAE Systems has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with manufacturing firm Renishaw which will see the two organisations work together to develop 3D printing for the defence sector.

BAE's 1,000 sq m New Product Development & Process Development Centre at Samlesbury already hosts a number of Renishaw machines, and the new agreement will see them partner on research and development projects which improve performance, reduce costs and speed up manufacturing processes through the use of 3D printing, also known as AM or additive manufacturing.

The defence giant 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.

The memorandium was signed by Andy Schofield, manufacturing and materials strategy and technology director for BAE Systems, and Will Lee, chief executive of Renishaw.

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.

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 added: "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."

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