Operation of an EBM machine to produce a solid metal part from powder.
Operation of an EBM machine to produce a solid metal part from powder.

Horizon (AM) includes GKN Aerospace, Renishaw, Delcam, and the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick. The programme is backed by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).

The team plans to take some additive manufacturing (AM) techniques from research and development through to viable production processes, focusing on low drag, high-performance wing designs and lighter, more efficient engine systems.

The programme will initially use AM techniques to create near net shape parts, improving the ‘buy to fly’ ratio of the part by reducing cost in time and material wastage associated with the conventional machining of metal forgings. 

Premier position

“AM incorporates a range of hugely promising manufacturing technologies that the UK aerospace sector must fully understand and exploit if it is to retain its position as the largest national aerospace industry outside the USA,” said Rich Oldfield, technical director, GKN Aerospace. “This strong consortium has the expertise and understanding to continue the process of industrialising these technologies for use in both current programme updates and next-generation aircraft.”