Department of Defense Buys Large Format Metal 3D Printer from AML3D

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AML3D, an Australian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of metal additive manufacturing (AM) hardware, announced that it has received an order for one of the company’s ARCEMY X-Edition 6700 platforms from the US Department of Defense (DoD). The order was placed through BlueForge Alliance, a DoD-backed, non-profit intermediary that focuses on integrating advanced manufacturing equipment into US military procurement supply chains.

AML3D expects to deliver the machine, a wire arc AM printer, sometime in 2023. BlueForge will install the X-Edition 6700 — valued at around $700,000 — at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where it will be used as part of the effort to accelerate the US Navy’s use of wire arc AM in submarine production.

In a press release announcing AML3D’s order from the DoD, the company’s CEO, Ryan Millar, commented, “This sale is a significant opportunity for AML3D, as it is part of a long-term strategic partnership with the US Navy…This opportunity with the US Navy and the Submarine Industrial Base aligns with AML3D’s strategy of focusing on ARCEMY product sales, especially in the US maritime and defense sectors. I look forward to providing further updates as we deepen our presence and partnerships in the US.”

In addition to the order already placed, AML3D also expects to receive a contract from the US Navy in Q3 of 2023, for characterization (testing) of metals. An increasingly acute, across-the-board backlog in submarine supply chains is one of the key factors that has been driving the US Navy’s ramped-up AM efforts in recent years. Thus, this is a particularly promising area to target for a company looking to enter the US defense market.

Owing especially to its viability for use in heavy industry, as well as its compatibility with other standard elements in advanced manufacturing production lines, wire arc AM is poised to take off with the US military. In turn, the technique presumably also has a future with all other NATO nations and allied nations, such as Australia.

Australia’s unique geostrategic significance to the US give Australian companies an inherent edge over their direct competitors in the AM market. This is surely one of the primary reasons why the Australian government has made it such a priority to encourage the nation’s shift towards advanced manufacturing. Moreover, their connection to US markets via the DoD should be a catalyst for Australian AM companies to forge footholds into other areas of the US economy.

Image courtesy of AML3D

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