Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
On November 20th 2020, metal 3D printing specialists SPEE3D of Melbourne, Australia announced that the Royal Australian Navy had installed its own WarpSPEE3D metal 3D printer at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin. It follows the Australian Army repeatedly successfully trialling a WarpSPEE3D in the remote outback between June and September 2020. In November 2019, the Australian government announced a AU$1.5 million investment in SPEE3D’s metal 3D printing technology with the intention of streamlining naval patrol vessel maintenance. In February 2020, a similar AU$1.5 million investment in the technology was announced for use in the army.
In June, a WarpSPEE3D was successfully trialled during a field training exercise in Mount Bundey, 120km (75 miles) south east of Darwin for a 3-day-long experiment. There, it was moved between various locations and unloaded onto different terrains, with SPEE3D proclaiming that it was ready to print within half an hour of arriving at each test location. Over the next 2 months, it received several upgrades and modifications, before being trialled again in August and early September. Here, it was deployed across various field locations in temperatures of up to 37°C and 80% humidity, whilst printing and machining various military metal parts.
SPEE3D boast that they have developed the fastest and most economical metal 3D printing technology in the world, via firing metallic powders at speeds of up to Mach 3 onto a substrate attached to a robotic arm, such that the kinetic energy of the collision causes the powders to bind together. They expect the navy’s pilot program to produce similar results to that of the army’s.
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Disclaimer: Featured image of “HMAS Australia (D84) passing through the Panama Canal in March 1935” is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, it is in the public domain in the United States.