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.


Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 204-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Optimised thermal management in semiconductor fabrication using AI-enabled generative design and Additive Manufacturing
  • Forging a process for mass customisation via metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Bringing it all together: How Materialise is integrating manufacturing and software expertise to shape AM’s future
  • Pedal to the metal at the Digital Manufacturing Centre: Redefining what’s possible for AM in hypercars and beyond
  • The future is Additive Manufacturing – if we take a more holistic view of the design opportunities
  • Building a case for radical collaboration plus quality standards: The pathway to growing the AM industry
  • Distributed manufacturing: Old concept, new relevance, new technology?
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing: A workflow for a metal AM heat exchanger using nTopology (BJT)
  • Taking the holistic view:
    Defining the state-of-the-art in the evolving PBF-LB machine marketplace
  • > More information

Latest news


    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    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 in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter

    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap