The Australian Government today announced a $1.5 million investment into a two-year pilot of SPEE3D technology for the Royal Australian Navy including the deployment of a WarpSPEE3D 3D metal printer. Cold spray 3D printing technology developed by the Darwin, Australia, based company will be deployed by the Royal Australian Navy in a world-first trial that will streamline the maintenance of patrol vessels.
SPEE3D partnered with the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA) and Charles Darwin University (CDU) to deliver the program. The company had also collaborated with CDU to form AMA in 2017, an initiative that is now recognized as a global center of excellence for real-world applications of 3D printing technology.
“We’re excited to be working with The Royal Australian Navy and the Additive Manufacturing Alliance on this program,” commented SPEE3D CEO Byron Kennedy. “Having the capability to produce high-quality metal parts on-demand, in the field or at sea will be groundbreaking for the Australian Defence Force.”
Originally unveiled at Formnext 2017, SPEE3D’s supersonic 3D printing technology has always targeted at final part production, leveraging metal cold spray technology to produce industrial quality metal parts in just minutes, rather than days or weeks. This process harnesses the power of kinetic energy, rather than relying on high-power lasers and expensive gasses, allowing 3D metal printing in the field or at sea, at affordable costs. The program aims to significantly increase parts available to the Navy compared to what the regular supply chain can provide.
“This high-tech machinery enables metal components to be produced quickly and efficiently, meaning our ships can get back on the water without delay,” said Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price MP, congratulating the Charles Darwin University’s Manufacturing Alliance and SPEE3D, for producing the cutting edge and uniquely Australian capability. “Benefiting both the Navy and industry, the knowledge transfer gained using this capability also positions the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance to pursue further opportunities.
“This capability is a prime example of Australian innovation at its best and supports the Government’s unprecedented shipbuilding and sustainment plans – said Ms. Price.