SPEE3D launches mobile additive manufacturing solution


Thursday, 16 May, 2024

SPEE3D launches mobile additive manufacturing solution

Australian metal additive manufacturing company SPEE3D has announced the launch of its Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit (EMU), a complete on-site mobile additive manufacturing solution. EMU combines SPEE3D’s expeditionary metal 3D printer, XSPEE3D, with its SPEE3Dcell post-processing and testing unit in two, 6 m shipping containers, which together can produce cast-equivalent metal parts in record time close to the point of need.

Participating in the European Defence Agency’s AM Village 2024 Workshop in Tournai, Belgium, SPEE3D has demonstrated its deployable technology alongside the British Army to militaries from over 25 EU and NATO countries.

SPEE3D’s EMU is designed to enable the replacement of metal parts in hours instead of days or weeks, minimising the cost of disruption and downtime, according to the company. Unlike other additive manufacturing solutions, the EMU does not require dangerous and expensive lasers or inert gases. Additionally, no extensive prior expertise with additive manufacturing technology is required.

“The launch of our Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit addresses the current state of the global supply chain, which is fragile and increasingly under pressure,” said Byron Kennedy, CEO of SPEE3D. “Part of the issue for defence and other heavy industries is getting critical equipment up and running quickly to avoid costly production delays. EMU will enable the British Army and others to take control, giving them the ability to print and post-process parts very quickly from anywhere.”

The system includes two 6 m containers with twist locks, a ruggedised, mobile metal 3D printer that can produce high-density metal parts in a wide range of materials and a fully equipped post-processing shop — including a heat treatment furnace, CNC three-axis mill, tooling and testing equipment. As a truly expeditionary product, EMU can be transported on a single platform (truck trailer/ship/plane).

“Through its continual program of modernisation, the British Army embraces new innovative manufacturing solutions to keep it at the forefront of emerging technology and at a tactical advantage over its potential adversaries,” said a UK Army spokesperson. “Our collaboration with SPEE3D has produced the world’s first fully field-deployable 3D cold metal printing capability, heralding a step change in deployable engineering capabilities for our forces deployed overseas.”

SPEE3D works extensively with defence around the world, including the Japanese, US, UK, and Australian defence forces. Last year a team was in Poland training Ukrainian military personnel on the technology.

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