Australian Army trials 3D printing

3D printing tech could reduce need to carry bulky repair parts, Army believes

Australian army deploys SPEE3D Printer [3 men looking at LCD screen]
SPEE3D

The Australian Army’s 1st Combat Service Support Battalion (1 CSSB) will conduct a 12-month trial of the use of 3D printing technology, the government has revealed.

Defence industry minister Melissa Price revealed details of the expanded $1.5 million trial of the metal 3D printing technology, which builds on a world-first trial by the Royal Australian Navy.

The Army will work with Melbourne-based company SPEE3D and Charles Darwin University (CDU) on the trial, Price said.

The pilot will involve 20 Darwin-based soldiers being trained in designing and printing parts with the WarpSPEE3D 3D metal printer.

“This partnership with CDU and SPEE3D shows that we as an army are looking to the future and embracing advanced technologies to speed up our processes,” Lieutenant Colonel Kane Wright said. Wright is commanding officer of the 1 CSSB.

“At maturity we see it becoming an essential enabler that will redefine how logistics is employed to support our dependencies on the future battlefield.”

“The partnership with CDU and SPEE3D demonstrates Defence’s continued commitment to embracing advanced technologies that will speed up our processes,” Price said in a statement.

The use of 3D printing could have a significant impact on battlefield logistics, the minister said.

“This will reduce the requirement to deploy with bulky holdings of multiple repair parts, hence increasing mobility and survivability and reducing time waiting for new parts to create greater resilience in the supply chain,” Kane said.

“It’s a great example of how Australian industry is at the forefront of global innovation, and providing unique solutions to filling capability gaps,” the minister said.

The Army is also working with CDU on developing an educational program focused on design, 3D modelling and printing, the government revealed.

CDU and the Army are also working to develop an educational program covering the fundamentals of design, 3D modelling and printing through to testing and certification.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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