The RAN has installed a large-format SPEE3D metal 3D printer at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin.
Able to print metal parts, the 3D printer was installed by Coonawarra’s Fleet Support Unit in mid-November. Developed in Australia, the printer has been trialled with the Australian Army during recent exercises in the Northern Territory. SPEE3D says that trial resulted in a range of parts that Army can print and finish in the field at a fraction of the cost and time of current supply chains.
The Navy installation will be part of a $1.5 million government grant designed to streamline the maintenance of Armidale class patrol boats based in Darwin, and to increase parts available to the Navy compared to those available from regular supply chains.
“We are excited to be working with The Royal Australian Navy on this program,” SPEE3D CEO Byron Kennedy said in a release. “Having the capability to produce high-quality metal parts on-demand, in the field or at sea will be ground-breaking for the ADF.”