SPEE3D reveals Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit for in-field metal part manufacturing

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

SPEE3D’s Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit (EMU) (Courtesy SPEE3D)
SPEE3D’s Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit (EMU) (Courtesy SPEE3D)

SPEE3D, based in Melbourne, Australia, has launched its Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit (EMU), a complete on-site mobile Additive Manufacturing solution. The EMU combines the company’s XSPEE3D metal Additive Manufacturing machine with its SPEE3Dcell post-processing and testing unit in two 6 m shipping containers, which together can produce metal parts close to the point of need.

The EMU is intended to help those working in the field tackle equipment repair and part replacement head-on. It makes it possible to additively manufacture, post-process, and test metal parts on-site. It is designed for easy deployment, requires no specialised training, and delivers metal properties equal to or superior to those of cast counterparts.

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Participating in the European Defence Agency’s AM Village 2024 Workshop in Tournai, Belgium, SPEE3D will demonstrate its deployable technology alongside the British Army to militaries from over 25 EU and NATO countries.

“The launch of our Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit addresses the current state of the global supply chain, which is fragile and increasingly under pressure,” said Byron Kennedy, CEO of SPEE3D. “Part of the issue for defence and other heavy industries is getting critical equipment up and running quickly to avoid costly production delays. EMU will enable the British Army and others to take control, giving them the ability to print and post-process parts very quickly from anywhere.”

The EMU can produce high-density metal parts in a wide range of materials, and includes a fully-equipped post-processing shop – with a heat treatment furnace, CNC three-axis mill, tooling, and testing equipment. It can be transported on a single platform truck trailer, ship or by plane.

“Through its continual programme of modernisation, the British Army embraces new innovative manufacturing solutions to keep it at the forefront of emerging technology and at a tactical advantage over its potential adversaries,” a UK Army spokesperson shared. “Our collaboration with SPEE3D has produced the world’s first fully field deployable 3D cold metal printing capability, heralding a step change in deployable engineering capabilities for our forces deployed overseas.”

The containerised, ruggedised machine uses patented software to automate the Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (CSAM) tool path, enabling users to build directly from CAD files. It also lets users simulate the process before they build, so users can proactively identify unfeasible part features and modify designs accordingly.

When users are ready to build, XSPEE3D uses an ultra-high-energy nozzle to spray metal powder at supersonic speeds onto a base plate, using only compressed air to build their part. Once it’s manufactured, the SPEE3DCell expeditionary post-processing unit allows users to heat treat, machine, and test the part before using it.


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May 16, 2024

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