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Australian Team Develops Super-Fast Metal 3D Printer

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports on a brand-new type of metal 3D printer which has been developed in Darwin and will be used by a team of scientists at Charles Darwin University in the continent’s Northern Territory.

A $400,000 grant by the Australian government “has allowed Charles Darwin University to acquire the LightSpEE3D printer.”  Spee3D’s Steven Camilleri, who is the co-inventor of this 3D printer, explains: “[we printed a part for an automotive supplier] and we were able to bring the 3D print time down from about 100 to 200 hours to about 20 minutes.  And we were able to bring the cost down from…$3,000-$5,000 to about $30.”  These are astonishing numbers!

As Camilleri continues: “we believe we’ve got a process that suits manufacturing better than some of the existing processes for metal manufacturing.  It’s got to do with convenience so rather than having many, many months and weeks of leave time for parts, we can bring that right down to essentially instantaneous.  Which means your production is smaller and much more cost effective and you can bring in new innovations into the market because you don’t have to worry about tooling costs.”

As for the team at Charles Darwin University, they’ll be able to get their hands on a LightSpEE3D printer of their very own in October of 2017.  Camilleri concludes: “we’ll be doing work with Charles Darwin University essentially looking into different applications for the printer.  We want to scale various uses for the printer that might exist very quickly, so we need more people who might be working on what those opportunities are with us.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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