Renishaw's engineers modelled each bracket from scratch using a computer-aided design (CAD) system.
Renishaw's engineers modelled each bracket from scratch using a computer-aided design (CAD) system.

UK Additive manufacturing (AM) specialist Renishaw has 3D printed four sets of unusual cockpit brackets for a Hawker Typhoon aircraft, originally built in the UK during the 1940s.

Using original drawings from 1938, Renishaw's engineers modelled each bracket from scratch using a computer-aided design (CAD) system. After prototyping in plastic polycarbonate, the company produced the final parts using a Renishaw AM250 additive manufacturing machine, which like the original brackets were recreated in an aluminium alloy.

‘Reconstructing the brackets with traditional manufacturing technologies such as CNC machining was not feasible, so we suggested using additive manufacturing,’ said Joshua Whitmore, development technician at Renishaw. ‘The design flexibility of additive manufacturing allowed us to create and produce the cockpit brackets quickly and efficiently. It was inspiring to see the latest additive manufacturing technology being used to recreate a part of history.’

 ‘There are currently no working Hawker Typhoons in existence and complete aircrafts are extremely rare,’ explained Trevor Davies, Typhoon Sponsor Coordinator for the Jet Age Museum. ‘Renishaw has helped to bring a rare piece of heritage back to the area.’

This story is reprinted from material from Renishawwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.