Renishaw used its own additive manufacturing technology to produce a precise final product, with the finished sun dial unveiled at the Friends’ Summer Party in August 2017.

The Friends of Berkeley Castle approached Renishaw about creating a unique sun dial design for the 12th century castle. Retired mechanical engineer and Friends of Berkeley Castle member Bob Hunt designed the sun dial according to the castle’s latitude and longitude.

The design incorporated specific features to link the sun dial to Berkeley Castle, including the Berkeley Arch and Door in the design of the gnomon (vertical piece) and a moat and cobbled courtyard on the dial face (horizontal piece).

Construction of the sun dial required high precision, which was achieved using metal additive manufacturing. The design was manufactured on a Renishaw AM250 metal additive manufacturing system from stainless steel. Once completed, the sun dial was mounted on to the empty pedestal using a specially designed mounting unit, ensuring correct alignment with the sun.

Explains Ralph Fawkes, chief development engineer at the Rapid Manufacturing Centre at Renishaw: “Renishaw is a world leader in precision manufacturing as well as the largest private employer in Gloucestershire. This put Renishaw in a good position to support the project and allowed us to use our metal 3D printing expertise to produce an important object for a historic setting.”