A world-first commercial 3D printer, invented in Darwin, has the potential to revolutionise manufacturing in Australia.
The new LightSPEE3D printer will form the centrepiece of a new industrial research hub to be based at Charles Darwin University – thanks to a $400,000 Northern Territory (NT) Government grant for the purchase of the machine from Darwin-based innovative start-up company SPEE3D.
The LightSPEE3D printer has the potential to turn 3D metal printing, which is currently primarily used to make prototypes of parts, into a tool for larger scale manufacturing of actual parts for use.
The LightSPEE3D printer is up to 1,000 times quicker than conventional 3D metal printers, and allows for the rapid and low-cost production of metal parts without tools.
The new printer is useful for fast, high volume manufacturing – a 3D printer which can play an integral part in the mass manufacturing process compared to the existing 3D metal printing technology which is more tailored to niche manufacturing of low volume, complex items such as aerospace parts.
The LightSPEE3D printer was invented in the NT by SPEE3D co-founders Byron Kennedy and Steve Camelleri, after establishing their Darwin based start-up company in 2014 with the aim of getting their very fast and innovative 3D printer into the marketplace.
Now this ambition has been achieved after the $400,000 grant from the NT Government to allow Charles Darwin University to purchase the LightSPEE3D printer.
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner, said the LightSPEE3D printer and new industrial research hub at Charles Darwin University would help to create new economic opportunities for NT residents.
“We want to partner with local enterprises to drive innovation here in the Territory,” he said.
“By diversifying the economy through innovation we are opening the door to new economic opportunities for Territorians – both now and into the future,
“The machine will provide a new industrial transformation research hub for advanced manufacturing in the Territory, delivering new tools, skills and technologies, and generating highly skilled jobs.”
The LightSPEE3D printer will arrive at Charles Darwin University in October where campus scientists will collaborate with SPEE3D engineers to explore the 3D printer’s potential.
Visit the company website.