Design for AM Optimisation for Automotive Industry
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Design for AM Optimisation for Automotive Industry

Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing of an Optimised Motorbike Fork End

The MTC worked with GRM and K-Tech on a project to investigate the weight-saving of an additive manufactured motorbike part.

The MTC’s experience in additive manufacturing technologies has been a great help in ensuring our tools compliment these emerging technologies.
Martin Gambling, Managing Director at GRM Consulting Ltd

The Challenge

  • Design SMEs GRM and K-Tech were keen to further investigate the capability of Additive Manufacturing (AM).
  • In order to fully utilise the benefits of AM for product improvement, GRM and K-Tech were looking to develop knowledge and expertise in considerations for Design for AM.
  • K-Tech had previously designed and manufactured a motorbike fork end, and were looking to improve this product.

MTC's solution

  • Working with GRM using TruForm topology optimisation, the MTC facilitated fast iteration of designs to optimise the motorbike fork.
  • Two motorbike forks were manufactured in a titanium alloy using Electron Beam Melting (EBM).
  • The MTC performed non destructive evaluation (NDE) via structured light scanning. This was carried out using GOM for geometric conformance and X-ray computed tomography for defect detection.

The Outcome

  • Electron beam additive manufactured components with assurance of quality via NDE.
  • Optimisation of component design, achieving a 50g weight saving per component. The switch to titanium improved fracture toughness.

Benefits to the client

  • Fast iteration and design change implementation throughout project.
  • Product and process knowledge captured for use in future GRM and K-Tech programmes.
  • Transferable capability and knowledge obtained as a result.
Through the support of the MTC, GRM were able to learn, apply and demonstrate our TruForm design tool to great success.
Martin Gambling, Managing Director at GRM Consulting Ltd