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Delcam’s Vortex speeds Bloodhound part production at AMRC

Delcam’s Vortex speeds Bloodhound part production at AMRC

Added to MTDCNC by AUTODESK on 10 June 2014

Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software is being used by the AMRC (University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing) to produce a series of components for the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car project.  To see the full story, go to www.delcam.tv/bloodhound-amrc

Bloodhound SSC aims to set a new world land speed record of 1000mph in South Africa in 2016.  Delcam is both an SME Sponsor, supporting the project with its manufacturing software and expertise, and a Product Sponsor, producing components for the record-breaking vehicle in its Advanced Manufacturing Facility.  The AMRC is one of several Delcam customers and technical partners that are using the company’s CADCAM software to manufacture parts for the ultimate jet- and rocket-powered racing car.

One particularly challenging part machined at the AMRC was for the front suspension sub-assembly of the Bloodhound SSC.  On first looking at the model, it appeared that the part would be extremely difficult and complex to machine because it included deep pockets with small internal corners.  However, these problems were overcome easily by using the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy in PowerMILL to rough out the pockets.  As a result, the AMRC was able to produce the finished part within the tight time constraints demanded by the project.

The work for the Bloodhound SSC continued a long relationship between Delcam and the AMRC.  'We’ve dealt with Delcam for seven or eight years now,' commented Matt Farnsworth, the Aero Structures Platform Group Leader.  'Delcam offers us a lot of functionality in terms of the programming capability within the software.  In addition, we like its ability to give us rapid programming so reducing the time it takes to give us the cutter paths we require.  Delcam allows us to be on the machine cutting a lot quicker that the alternative software solutions because we’re able to reduce our programming times.'  

'We also use On-Machine Verification with PowerINSPECT so, when we are getting near to finishing a part, we can probe the surfaces and machine adaptively, if required, to ensure that we get good geometrical tolerance.'

'We’re focused constantly on reducing costs mainly through looking at cycle time reductions,' continued Mr. Farnsworth.  'We need to understand the limitations of any process in order to challenge traditional production methods and then apply new technical developments in machining strategies, as well as in tooling and machine tools.'  

The machining for the Bloodhound SSC is a change from the usual work at the AMRC, where 95% of the projects are involved with the aerospace industry.  

'AMRC has always been a strong advocate of the Bloodhound project, not only because it is an exciting engineering challenge to go at 1,000 miles an hour but also because it is an opportunity to bring young engineers through by getting children interested in engineering,' said Mr. Farnsworth.  'We’ve recently opened our training centre with 250 apprentices coming thorough that each year.  The Bloodhound project has a lovely synergy with that initiative.'

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