Design for AM Optimisation for Automotive Industry

Design for AM Optimisation for Automotive Industry

Case Studies 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


Related information

I was very impressed with the whole experience working with Steve and Dave.
They came onsite, listened and then saw the problems we were having with our process. We explained how we wanted the process improved and they delivered with a number of solutions.
I cannot fault their commitment, brilliant work for the Brilliant Factories project.

Chris Gray
GE Oil & Gas