Military Logistics

Australian Army to trial 3D printing

24th February 2020 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Australian Army is set to trial new 3D printing technology already being used by the Royal Australian Navy.

A partnership between the Australian Department of Defence, Melbourne company SPEE3D and Charles Darwin University (CDU) will deliver a 12-month trial of the new metal 3D printing technology for the Australian Army’s 1st Combat Service Support Battalion.

The Australian government has invested $1.5 million in the 3D printing technology to fast-track the army’s supply chain and increase capability.

SPEE3D printers make metal parts by leveraging metal cold spray technology to produce industrial quality metal parts in just minutes, rather than days or weeks. This process harnesses the power of kinetic energy, rather

than relying on high-power lasers and expensive gasses, allowing 3D metal printing in the field.

Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, said: ‘The partnership with CDU and SPEE3D demonstrates defence’s continued commitment to embracing advanced technologies that will speed up our processes.

‘This will reduce the requirement for our soldiers to deploy with bulky repair parts, redefining how logistics are deployed on the future battlefield. It’s a great example of how Australian industry is at the forefront of global innovation, and providing unique solutions to filling capability gaps.’

CDU and the army are also working to develop an educational programme covering the fundamentals of design, 3D modelling and printing through to testing and certification.

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