A world-first 3D printer that creates metal parts very quickly and cheaply is providing a new direction and potential new markets for the technology.
Northern Territory innovators SPEE3D are now working with Charles Darwin University, which purchased one of the LightSPEE3D printers to identify opportunities to commercialise the device.
NERA spoke to SPEE3D Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Steven Camilleri, and CDU Biomedical Engineer, Dr Rebecca Murray, about their collaboration and new technology in remote locations.
Meet SPEE3D’s CEO Byron Kennedy:
Tell us about your role at SPEE3D and what the company does? My name is Byron Kennedy and I am the co-founder and CEO of SPEE3D, a high-speed, metal 3D printing company in Melbourne, Australia. I lead the business strategy and vision, in addition to bringing vast experience from the manufacturing industry and understanding the challenges manufacturers face.
SPEE3D’s goal is simple – 3D print metals at production speeds and cost. SPEE3D has developed industrial, high-speed 3D metal printers that use a new 3D printing process, supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) and proprietary algorithms. SPEE3D’s technology can manufacture metal parts without the use of inert gases thus greatly reducing cost. Combined with a high-speed printing process which is 100 to 1000 times faster than traditional 3D printing, the technology is targeted at 3D printing for production.
Ideally suited for producing parts currently designed for sand or die casting, the end applications include automotive, mining, commercial, HVAC and industrial applications.
How did you first get involved in the energy resources industry? NERA project funding has enabled a small technology company like us to have a legitimate reason to approach large oil and gas operators. SPEE3D brings a new 3D printing technology to the Oil and Gas industry.
SPEE3D’s industrial 3D metal printer has the potential to produce significant cost savings to the energy resources sector by producing parts on demand. Potential benefits include the reduction in downtime, less cash tied up in working capital and a reduced warehousing footprint, increased productivity and the flexibility in design to production flow. The potential cash savings are significant.
You recently received project funding from NERA. How has this impacted your business? Project funding from NERA facilitates the effective collaboration between SPEE3D providing the new technology, industry providing problem statements and CDU providing the testing facilities in a perfect marriage of applied research and industrial capability. The project will develop a new industrial 3D Printer.
The printer, once finalised and validated, becomes the newest product from SPEE3D, and will be used throughout Australia and exported all over the world as the first product able to generate parts on demand for remotely located, heavily industrial sites. It will be possible for any party to design parts anywhere in the world for immediate onsite fabrication at a remote industrial facility.
What does the coming 12 months look like for SPEE3D? The next twelve months will be exciting for SPEE3D. SPEE3D’s industrial printers are now available globally and give control back to manufacturers by increasing the speed and simplifying the process of metal 3D printing. SPEE3D works closely with its customers to open up opportunities and address manufacturing problems. The market opportunities are large - from mining to aerospace to automotive, commercial and heavy industry sectors. SPEE3D will be working with both large OEM's and niche manufacturers to increase global supply chain access to our 3D metal printing technology.