US awards Aussie company for 3D printer
The first Expeditionary & Tactical 3D Printing Excellence Award Metal Tech News – March 2, 2022
Last updated 3/1/2022 at 3:10pm
The U.S. Defense Strategies Institute (DSI) recognized Australian additive manufacturing company SPEE3D at the 6th Military Additive Manufacturing Summit, where the company was named the inaugural winner of the Institute's Award for Expeditionary & Tactical 3D Printing Excellence.
Founded in 2015, Australia-based SPEE3D is the evolution of In Motion Technology, a company co-founded by Byron Kennedy and Steve Camilleri to commercialize their axial flux motor technology used to race the famed Desert Rose, a solar-powered car that successfully competed against other solar vehicles made by car giants, General Motors and Honda.
With the proceeds from its axial flux motor technology and the successful sale of In Motion Technology, the pair formed SPEE3D.
The company stated that it was given the award for providing defense forces a reliable, deployable manufacturing solutions when sourcing applications out in the field.
"SPEE3D is very proud and humbled to be recognized in the U.S. for our work with Defense," said SPEE3D CEO Steven Camilleri. "We must acknowledge that the Australian Army's dedication to pursuing innovation with us has been the backbone of our success."
This award comes just months after the company began to rigorously test its field printers with the Australian Army.
Taken into the remote bushlands of Australia, SPEE3D's printers were put through its toughest trial ever. For three weeks, the printer was transported on a round trip of more than 764 miles (1,200 kilometers) over rough terrain to operate in hot and dusty conditions.
During the trial, the printer produced more than a dozen different replacement parts for an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, a vehicle that has been used by the Australian Army for over 40 years.
Ultimately, the team was able to 3D print, heat treat, machine, test, and validate the parts in the field, as well as redesign and fortify some parts, ultimately reducing the risk of future damages.
You can read more about the stress test for SPEE3D's 3D printer at Australian Army 3D prints parts in the bush in the December 1, 2021, edition of Metal Tech News.
While it may seem strange for an Australian company to receive an award from the U.S., the DSI is a nonpartisan institute designed to assist in advancing the mission-critical goals of the United States' military and government.
However, it also organizes the Annual Military Additive Manufacturing Summit, which aims to bring together thought leaders and key policymakers across military services, defense agencies and civilian organizations.
This year's summit focused on advancements made in the 3D printing space, as well as how the Department of Defense is working to integrate additive manufacturing technologies in order to supply durable, affordable equipment and parts.
"We had an incredible number of entries this year from various esteemed government, defense industry prime organizations based in the U.S. and internationally," said Richard Giordano, director of programs at the Defense Strategies Institute. "The 3D Printing Award is dedicated to recognizing individuals, or groups, that have exemplified an outstanding achievement in 3D printing in support of DoD mission priorities."
Since 2020, SPEE3D and the Australian Army have conducted several field trials, taking their WarpSPEE3D tactical printer into the rugged bushland of Mount Bundey and the Bradshaw Training Areas.
At these locations, the Australian Army's Additive Manufacturing Cell technicians manufactured dozens of case studies, proving that it is possible to 3D print, replace, validate, certify and put to use metal applications in the field.
"We would like to congratulate all of the recipients making waves in the Advanced Manufacturing space to improve Defense sovereign capability," Giordano said.