Renishaw Extends Paramatters Collaboration for Optimised Lightweighting and Automation of Metal Additive Manufacturing

Metal Additive Manufacturing
Above: ParaMatters 3D printed bracket installed in a motorcycle/Image Credit: Renishaw

Global engineering company Renishaw is working with autonomous topology optimisation expert ParaMatters to introduce potential customers to efficiently manufacture metal parts.

ParaMatters’ CogniCAD cloud solution enables users to easily upload part geometries for optimisation and automatically produces lightweight macro, meso and lattice structures using generative design principles backed up with high-resolution finite element analysis (FEA) validation. CogniCAD users are no longer constrained by traditional complex CAD/CAE/CAM tools, instead, they simply upload their part and follow the intuitive CogniCAD workflow and user-friendly interface to prepare a printable model.

Renishaw has previously used CogniCAD to reduce the weight of the upper mounting bracket for ECOSSE Moto Works’ motorcycle, the Nightstalker. Lightweight components are important in motorcycles for ensuring fuel efficiency and improved dynamics. Here, the two complementary technologies are used together to produce lightweight and structurally robust components and Renishaw’s collaboration with ParaMatters has made both technologies accessible to its customers.

“We worked with Renishaw to establish a smooth workflow that made it possible to automate the entire process from design to manufacturing,” explained Michael Bogomolny, Co-Founder & CTO of ParaMatters. “CogniCAD uses topology optimisation, computational geometry, and high-performance computing to autonomously generate designs that are adapted to make the best use of AM.”

Metal Additive Manufacturing
Above: Finite Element Analysis of ParaMatters 3D printed bracket in CogniCAD/Image Credit: Renishaw

ParaMatters produced a design for the motorcycle bracket, which included a lattice structure to reduce the weight of the part. Once redesigned, the bracket’s structural performance was validated using FEA, provided by CogniCAD, and assessed by fitting it onto the motorcycle. The results exceeded expectations. The final bracket was 35 percent lighter than the original part, the maximum stress was 20 percent less and the fundamental natural frequency of the part was two percent greater.

In a new extension of the collaboration, Renishaw will use CogniCAD at its AM Solution Center in West Dundee, Chicago. ParaMatters will join Renishaw’s network of software vendors and will provide a “Click to Print” functionality from CogniCAD. This will enable design review and printability assessment by Renishaw AM experts before additive manufacture commences. ParaMatters will also have access to Renishaw AM systems for joint customer projects.

“Generative design has a clear role to play in lightweighting parts that cannot be produced by computer numerical control (CNC) machining alone,” explained Stephen Anderson, AM Business Development Manager at Renishaw. “However, for many manufacturers, the initial investment required to perform such optimisations is too high. By working with ParaMatters potential users can easily try topology optimization, see the results and then engage with Renishaw to assess final suitability for additive manufacturing.”

Michael Bogomolny (ParaMatters CTO) commented: “We successfully use Renishaw to additively manufacture ParaMatters optimized designs and have been really impressed with the results. We have developed CogniCAD, Meta-Materials Compiler, and our new Unique Meso-Structural Designer, that can be used to develop realistic bone-like structural implants –  all with simple web-based GUIs allowing for the fast creation of optimal, FEA checked, components. We believe working with Renishaw and implementing “Click to Print” in our offering will help open up ever wider markets for metal additive manufacturing and our software.”

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