At RAPID+TCT 2019 in Michigan, I spoke with Byron Kennedy, the CEO and co-founder of Australian startup SPEE3D, which developed a patented supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) technology for super-sized metal 3D printing at production speeds. The Melbourne-based company offers two large-scale systems: the WarpSPEE3D, which can print parts up to 1 x 0.7 m, and its award-winning little brother, the LightSPEE3D, capable of 3D printing bronze parts.
At the show, Kennedy showed me an aluminum hose fitting that the startup had made for the Royal Australian Navy – one part was cast, and the other was 3D printed. By the time I saw it, the part had already been certified and tested out by the Navy.
“We do have a real interest in the marine industry, because our 6061 aluminum is a very corrosion-resistant material, as well as the bronze. So it’s an under-serviced market at the moment, because not many people can do bronze, and big parts like this is really, really difficult. You need the right materials and the right sizes for that market, and really that’s work we’re putting a lot of focus into,” Kennedy told me at RAPID.
Now, SPEE3D has just announced that the Navy will be deploying its innovative SP3D technology – the WarpSPEE3D in particular – in a trial program to help streamline the maintenance of its patrol vessels.
In response to a $1.5 million investment by the Australian Government into a two-year pilot of its metal 3D additive manufacturing for the Navy, the company has teamed up with Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA) in order to deliver the pilot program. Actually, the AMA initiative was founded two years by SPEE3D and CDU, and is now, according to a press release, “recognized as a global centre of excellence for real world applications of 3D printing technology.”
SPEE3D uses metal cold spray technology in order to rapidly 3D print industrial-quality metal parts. Instead of using costly gases and high-powered lasers, the method uses kinetic energy, which means metal parts can be 3D printed, affordably, at sea or out in the field.
The WarpSPEE3D in particular, which prints with both copper and aluminum, features a deposition rate of 100 g/min, a maximum part build size of ø 1000 x 700mm, and a maximum part weight of 45 kg. Additionally, the printer can be modified to decrease its environmental impact by installing solar panels and running off solar energy, and it can produce near net shapes that are well-suited for industrial and commercial applications. This is good news, since the pilot program has a goal of majorly increasing the parts that are available to the Navy through the normal supply chain.
[Images: SPEE3D unless otherwise noted]
“This high-tech machinery enables metal components to be produced quickly and efficiently, meaning our ships can get back on the water without delay. Benefiting both the Navy and industry, the knowledge transfer gained using this capability also positions the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance to pursue further opportunities,” said Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Melissa Price, MP.
“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.”
Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and recieve information and offers from thrid party vendors.
You May Also Like
Grand Opening: AddUp Solution Center Offers LPBF & DED Metal 3D Printing
Global metal additive manufacturing OEM AddUp Solutions was established as a joint venture by French companies Michelin and fives back in 2015. The company’s main technology is laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) technology, but...
“World’s Most Efficient” A/C System to Be Built with 3D Printing
Hyperganic, a German developer of AI-based engineering software, has announced a new project aiming to create the world’s most efficient residential A/C system. The company is partnering with Strata Manufacturing,...
Online 3D Printing Service Sculpteo Announces New CEO
Sculpteo, BASF’s French 3D printing service, announced that the company’s new CEO is industrial designer Alexandre d’Orsetti. Promoted from in-house, d’Orsetti was previously the head of Sulpteo’s design studio for...
On the Ground at Velo3D’s New European Tech Center for Metal 3D Printing
Today, Velo3D (NYSE: VLD) opened a European Technical Center in Augsburg, Germany. The U.S. company has crossed over to Europe, where it can better educate and showcase its capabilities to...