C4iSR: Maritime

High-speed 3D printing technology to be trialled for RAN patrol boat maintenance

26 November 2019

Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) is funding a two-year, AUD1.5 million (USD1.02 million) trial to assess the ability of a uniquely-fast 3D printer to improve the availability of parts for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) fleet of Armidale-class patrol boats.

The LightSPEE3D printer, developed by Australian company SPEE3D and the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance of Darwin-based Charles Darwin University, is designed to produce parts up to 1,000 times faster than traditional metal 3D printing.

Announcing the trial on 21 November, Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price described LightSPEE3D as “a prime example of Australian innovation at its best”, adding that the evaluation was expected to help the RAN streamline patrol vessel maintenance.

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