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AMS Spring 2023

AML3D Expands 3D Printing Business Operations with Boeing

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Since June 2021, Aussie company AML3D (ASX: AL3) has been using its proprietary Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM) process to create parts and tools for The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), including a contract to supply a 3D printed tooling component and another to develop and 3D print aluminum structural test parts. Now, the Adelaide-based provider of commercial large-scale metal additive manufacturing services has expanded the scope of the initial aluminum test components purchase contract to include the next phase of 3D printed metal prototype components.

AML3D WAM technology.

AML3D WAM technology. Image courtesy of AML3D.

After various tests, Boeing placed an AUD$140,000 ($93,685) order last July for various aluminum test pieces and structural components typically used for intense test evaluation in North America. The newly expanded partnership has significantly increased the value of the July contract by an additional 150% and supports AML3D’s strategic growth plan to target the aerospace and defense sectors.

Described by AML3D Managing Director Andrew Sales as a “growing momentum” in the company’s relationship with one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, the expanded purchase contract is strategically important as it moves AML3D towards being “embedded into Boeing’s supply chain.”

Aside from expanding its commercial relationship with Boeing, AML3D has also made solid progress toward the AS9100D:2016 quality systems accreditation for its additively manufactured aerospace parts. This internationally accepted standard is one of the highest levels of certification available for manufacturing companies that produce components for aviation, space, and defense industries. It applies to the design, manufacture, production, assembly, and test of aerospace-related products.

AML3D said in its last annual report that the accreditation is expected to be complete in late 2023 and will enable the company to manufacture “fly parts” for use in aircraft. Even more so, when fully implemented, AML3D will be only the world’s second 3D wire feedstock additive manufacturing company to achieve the standard. Expanding the Boeing relationship and ensuring the AS9100D accreditation align with AML3D’s multiphase growth strategy.

The large-scale ARCEMY WAAM 3D printer from AML3D.

The large-scale Arcemy WAM 3D printer from AML3D. Image courtesy of AML3D

Immersed in the defense sector, AML3D has the world’s largest, certified, production-ready metal 3D printers and the only diversified large-scale WAM production facility in the Southern Hemisphere. The brand’s flagship Arcemy industrial metal 3D printer, released in 2020, combines welding science, robotics automation, materials engineering, and proprietary software to form its recently patented WAM process. Arcemy produces parts smartly by depositing molten wire layer by layer in a controlled way.

The high productivity Arcemy solution is expected to reduce production lead times and improve commercial applications. The technology builds on AML3D’s Next-Generation Hybrid Printing project with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which developed a material strength prediction tool to support the creation of higher quality, one-stop production process. In the long term, AML3D’s internal R&D focus remains on its next-generation high-productivity Arcemy solution. The high-productivity Arcemy units are designed to print at a rate of up to 30 kilograms an hour, up to five times faster than the current Arcemy Units, by using twin wire feeds.

In a short time, the large format system gained traction with shipbuilding companies, including BAE Systems Australia subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding and Perth shipbuilder Austal, major Australian energy companies, oil and gas end customers, industrial engineering multinationals like ThyssenKrupp, and even an undisclosed North American space exploration company.

Valued at AUD$15.8 million ($10.6 million), AML3D has reported a positive outlook for the period ended June 30, 2022, and forecasted a substantial revenue and cash flow quarter for the end of the year. Driven by the sale of its Arcemy industrial scale 3D metal printing units, AML3D registered revenue of AUD$2 million ($1.3 million), an over 200% increase year-over-year. In addition, immediately following the end of the financial year, AML3D completed an equity issue to raise an additional AUD$2.7 million ($1.8 million) from the placement of new shares, which provided the company with the necessary funding to grow its team and continue the enhancement of AML3D’s disruptive technology.

Orders from Boeing and other major companies will require AML3D’s manufacturing facility to operate at high capacity over the coming months, highlights the company in its annual report. Especially since key production contracts, like the one with Boeing, require completion before the end of the second quarter of 2023. So this strong interest in ALM3D’s Arcemy machines and WAM technology is quite promising, especially now that the company supplies components to key target markets.

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