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UK engineering company highlights 3D printing capability

UK engineering company highlights 3D printing capability
Engineering and additive manufacturing specialist Renishaw has manufactured a topologically optimised bottle opener to illustrate the intricate and efficient building capabilities of additive manufacturing. The resultant application is a complex shape, stripped of all unnecessary material, leaving a lightweight, but robust device with high internal strength.

The bottle opener is designed and printed so as to minimise brace structure by making angles self-supporting. During the manufacturing process, the piece builds from a single point and employs minimalist branch-like structures instead of solid walls. This mass-reducing design ensures a quicker and cheaper build whilst still maintaining structural integrity.

The bottle opener was made using a process called laser melting. This is a digitally driven additive manufacturing technique that uses focused laser energy to fuse metallic powders into 3D objects. "Our bottle openers are yet another example of the positive manufacturing capabilities of 3D printing," explained product marketing manager David Ewing. "The accuracy and sustainability that additive manufacturing offers, when weighed against the minimal human interaction required, is unparalleled.

"Similarly, the level of complexity we can achieve with this emerging technology is proving extremely useful to industries in which detail is crucial. The medical and aerospace sectors have already seen such benefits."

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