Land Rover BAR's America's Cup Class (ACC) race boat Rita (code name R1) is the culmination of 85,000 hours of design and build, on the water testing and rigorous construction. The 15 m racing catamaran has 130 m of hydraulic pipes and over 1200 m of electronic and electric cabling connecting 190 sensors. A hydraulic manifold directs the flow of fluid in a hydraulic system linking valves and actuators. It enables the design engineer to manage the operation of a hydraulic circuit whilst combining the components in a compact unit.
The design team at Land Rover BAR recognised the potential of AM to allow weight savings and improve efficiency on the R1 boat so they set out to thoroughly review the hydraulics system. Renishaw contributed by highlighting the manifold components which would most benefit from being manufactured using metal AM technology, by collaborating and advising on iterations, then producing the necessary parts.
Renishaw's Product marketing Engineer, David Ewing explains "The design of the manifold is created in CAD software by Land Rover BAR. Renishaw produces its own build preparation software called QuantAM. We take the CAD file from Land Rover BAR, orient it, rotate it, support it and slice it up into multiple layers. Once we've done that we can send the machine file to the AM system which builds up the part using a high-powered laser and there's room to iterate and make design improvements."