Apollo Motorhome Holidays, an Australian maker of recreational vehicles (RVs), announced that the company is using Markforged’s X7 3D printers for a variety of purposes related to streamlining production. After initially purchasing the X7 carbon fiber platform to address delays caused by material shortages, Apollo started to branch out into other applications, as well.
Especially, the company has used the X7 to support its rapid prototyping operations. For instance, Apollo has been printing miniaturized RV chassis and cabinetry to enhance its design phase. This, in turn, has led Apollo to plan for further increased incorporation of Markforged printers into its workflow, including the use of the scale models for employee training, and the eventual printing of spare parts for its RV rental division.
Markforged will be sponsoring the Additive Manufacturing (AM) Zone at Australian Manufacturing Week (May 9-12 in Canberra). At the expo, Richard Elving, Markforged’s senior director for the Asia Pacific region, will be giving a talk entitled, “How Australian businesses use 3D printing to reshore manufacturing”.
I already mentioned this in a number of posts in 2022, but I think AM has virtually unlimited potential in Australia. It’s like geography combined with the history of Western colonialism unintentionally created the perfect laboratory for humans to test the potential for AM-centered digital supply chains. It is not an accident that Australia’s federal government, perhaps even more zealously than the Biden administration, is permanently enmeshing advanced manufacturing into the national scenery.
In the same way, motorhomes seem just as suited to the Australian landscape as is AM. Moreover, motorhomes are a solid gateway through which many other, versatile 3D printed parts can enter Australia’s AM supply chain. For instance, 3DPrint.com’s Joris Peels very recently wrote a two-part article on the business case for 3D printing horse trailers.
Along those lines, the same knowledge base that develops via printing motorhomes and trailers could also eventually be built up into printing the parts for standalone, mobile, self-contained factories. That is ultimately what all AM progress is building towards long-term, so this is one of those business use-case examples that could easily have a significant ripple effect.
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