SPEE3D teams with Australian Army for its toughest AM trial yet

September 9, 2021

Over a three-week trial, the SPEE3D team plans to produce metal parts for an armoured personnel carrier, used by the Australian Army for over forty years (Courtesy SPEE3D)

SPEE3D, Melbourne, Australia, has been working with the Australian Army to test and validate metal Additive Manufacturing as a military capability. The latest field trial is reported to be the longest and toughest yet, taking place in the remote Northern Territory, alongside planning and field training exercise Koolendong.

The Australian Army announced a $1.24 million investment in a pilot of SPEE3D technology in February 2020, with a twelve-month trial of the WarpSPEE3D Tactical AM machine. The trial was designed to test the feasibility of deploying metal AM as a capability both in barracks and in the field.

A number of field trials in 2020 resulted in over fifty case studies of additively manufactured parts and demonstrated that the WarpSPEE3D AM machine was robust enough to operate in remote Australian bushland. The programme was extended in 2021 to verify initial results.

This year, SPEE3D has been working closely with the Army to train the first military Additive Manufacturing Cell (AMC) technicians who specialise in the production of additively manufactured metal parts, from design to build, machining, heat treatment and certification. In the remote bushland of Bradshaw Training Area, in the Northern Territory, the AMC and SPEE3D tested the WarpSPEE3D Tactical AM machine as part of its toughest trial yet. The machine was transported over 600 kilometres (373 miles) from base – over rough terrain – to operate in hot, dusty conditions for three weeks.

“Last year’s trial proved SPEE3D technology was deployable,” stated SPEE3D’s CEO Byron Kennedy. “This year’s trial extension is bigger, longer and more remote, making it the world’s toughest and longest metal 3D printing trial so far.”

Over the three-week trial, the team plans to produce metal parts for the M113 armoured personnel carrier, a vehicle that has been used by the Australian Army for over forty years. The aim of this year’s trial is to prove metal AM can produce high-quality, military-grade parts that can be validated and certified for use in the field. The success of this trial will demonstrate that Additive Manufacturing plays an important part in the future of defence readiness.

As the program continues, the AMC hopes to explore more components that can be repaired and replaced using metal AM, and assess how this technology may eventually fit into Australian Army infrastructure.


In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • The GRCop story: The development, production and Additive Manufacturing of NASA’s rocket engine alloys
  • Formnext 2023: Innovations in metal Additive Manufacturing from the industry’s leading international exhibition
  • Cybersecurity in Additive Manufacturing: Securing the industry’s future
  • Additive Manufacturing in the jewellery industry: exploring the potential of platinum and titanium
  • Mission possible: The five-year plan to gain FAA and EASA acceptance of in-process monitoring

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap