The service manufacture managed to secure funding for the DMC last September and is now working to source and purchase equipment for the facility. KWSP’s DMC will be located in Silverstone, serve as a hub and innovation space for additive manufacturing, but supply parts for a host of vertical markets in addition to motorsport.
Having evolved out of KW Motorsport in 2012, KWSP’s adoption of additive manufacturing technology did not extend beyond fused deposition modelling (FDM) from Stratasys. Since the plan to move into the DMC facility began to materialise, however, the company has been surveying powder bed fusion, metal laser sintering and stereolithography equipment. The first of those boxes to be ticked is the latter, with KWSP investing in the NEO800 platform.
The company intends to team the NEO800 with the PerFORM Reflect photopolymer from DSM, which is suitable for the printing of injection moulding tools, carbon fibre tooling and high-speed wind tunnel models. PerFORM Reflect is particularly ideal for the latter because it has been optimised for particle image velocimetry (PIV) testing, which is used to obtain instantaneous velocity measurements at high speeds to assess flow visualisation. The NEO800’s build volume of 800 x 800 x 600 mm, as well as its high scanning resolution, will not only allow sizeable components, like wind tunnel models, to be produced, but also promises to ensure parts have the required side-wall quality.
“The acquisition of the NEO800 machine and Somos DSM PerFORM Reflect together with a large build platform broadens our additive manufacturing capacity here at KWSP,” commented Kieron Salter, Director of KWSP. “We are the only external UK suppliers of printed parts in Somos DSM PerFORM Reflect and can provide clients a developed material that is perfect for a range of applications including wind tunnel testing with PIV and composite tooling. With the launch of KWSP’s specialist Digital Manufacturing Centre in autumn 2020, we look forward to bringing this capability together with metallic additive manufacturing processes and, of course, our existing established FDM to a wide range of customers.”
“Offering customers the ability to learn more about the benefits of additive manufacturing compared to traditional methods is important,” added RPS Director David Storey. “Understanding how additive manufacturing can work for their specific manufacturing applications, in a neutral environment, is a great way to help with understanding the technology and to reassure anyone before making an investment to 3D print parts, jigs, fixtures and tools.”