3D for P2 – patterns printed for components

The project to build  No. 2007 continues to make rapid progress in Darlington Locomotive Works. The most recent
innovation by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is to use the latest 3D CAD and 3D printing technologies to assist in the manufacture of components for Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive.

Whilst several of the bronze boiler fittings are presently being made using patterns originally made for Tornado, new patterns are required for steam valve hand wheels. As several hand wheels are needed, wooden patterns would normally be the chosen method, however as all the components for Prince of Wales are being drawn in 3D CAD, the opportunity has been taken to use up-to-date manufacturing methods in the form of 3D printing. Ideally the hand wheels would be made by 3D printing bronze, however this technology is still in its early stages, and conventional casting is presently the most cost-effective solution. However, the patterns are strong candidates for 3D printing in plastic and have been made for the Trust by Shildon Manufacturing Company and the castings by South Lincs Foundry at Spalding. Further use of 3D printing technology will be made as the project progresses.