In case you’re not familiar with how the Royal Family goes about referring the membership, the Princess Royal is the title awarded by a British monarch to his or her eldest daughter. There have been seven ‘Princesses Royal,’ and Princess Anne is the current holder of the Princess Royal designation.
Renishaw, the British engineering and additive manufacturing firm, has 3D printed a special gift for Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
So when the company additively manufactured a replica of their nineteenth century mill headquarters building, they decided to gift the unique piece to Princess Anne as she opened the company’s new Innovation Centre and presented Renishaw with the eighteenth Queen’s Award.
The visit also marked the occasion of the 35th anniversary of HRH The Princess Royal handling the 1980 grand opening of an extension to Renishaw’s first commercial offices. At that stage, the company had just one facility and employed some 100 people. The Renishaw Group has now grown to operate 70 offices in 33 countries, and employs more than 4,000 people around the world.
Manufactured in titanium using Renishaw’s AM250 machine, the model was produced in a single build and it took some three days to print. The mill HQ replica was then heat treated for stress reduction, and following an additional finishing process, it was mounted on a piece of treated pine which was reclaimed from an original beam in the mill building dating back to 1802.
“A few years ago we milled a replica of our mill HQ building so we already had CAD designs that we could edit to optimise for the additive process,” said Jeremy Pullin, the Rapid Manufacturing Manager at Renishaw. “This meant adding channels to allow powder to run off. It also gave us design freedom to be able to add minute definition – like roof tiles and window detailing.”
Pullin said the AM version of the Mill HQ model had a predecessor.
“The original milled model was made from solid aluminum and produced in multiple parts – as you can imagine, it was quite heavy,” Pullin says. “The flexibility of the additive manufacturing process allowed us to produce the piece as one hollow part, reducing weight and production time.”
This latest Renishaw facility is the $31 million Innovation Centre located at the company’s HQ site in the English countryside near Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire. They say it provides the company an additional 153,000 square feet of space which will be used for research and development and corporate services staff, as well as hosting demonstration, training and conference facilities.
Renishaw says the facility represents one of a series of investments the company is making to address their plans for future growth at home and in overseas markets. Another such project, the new 90,000-square-foot facility built to house the Additive Manufacturing Products Division, is based in Stone, Staffordshire, UK.
The engineering technologies company supplies products for applications from jet engine and wind turbine parts to appliances for dentistry and brain surgery.
What do you think of this gift from Renishaw to HRH The Princess Royal Anne? Have you seen any other such projects which created architectural models? Let us know in the Renishaw and HRH The Princess Royal forum thread on 3DPB.com.