Aug 21, 2015 | By Simon

With the rise of metal-based 3D printing for creating everything from ready-made race car parts to parts used in aerospace and rocketry, it’s no surprise that some of these organizations have been looking towards what small hardware developers have been coming up with, too.

Among other startups who have explored the potential of metal-based 3D printing includes Aurora Labs from Perth, Australia.

So far, the company has already developed two 3D printer models - the S-Titanium and the S-Titanium Pro - that can print at least 20 different types of metal into solid objects.  Although the company originally sought funding on Kickstarter for their original 3D printer design and succeed in exceeding their campaign goal, they pulled the plug soon after over fears of losing their IP.  If recent news is any indication, pulling the plug in order to protect their technology wasn’t a bad idea.  

More recently, NASA has been in contact with the Australian startup about using their small format 3D printers and according to the company’s CEO David Budge, the space organization is just one of many large companies or organizations who have expressed interest in using the company’s 3D metal printing technology - including rocketry startups who are looking to produce micro-satellites, rocket engines and rocket vehicles using the company’s printers.    

The news is interesting considering that the company - although they have developed two consumer 3D printer models - have been yet to release any actual product; currently, the company is only taking pre-orders for their 3D printers.  Despite this, larger companies and organizations don’t appear to be fazed.   

“Most of the companies have come to us,” says Budge.

While the company has previously focused their efforts on developing a small format consumer-grade 3D printer for producing metal objects, their latest endeavor has involved scaling that technology up to a larger format 3D printer that’s capable of producing objects significantly bigger.  

According to Budge, the biggest difference between Aurora’s technology and similar technology is that Aurora is capable of printing objects up to 100 times faster and with a similar resolution.  

The company’s large format printer, which measures 2.5 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and 1.5 meters high, is capable of producing objects that weigh up to 1000 kilograms.  

Although the interest in a large format 3D printer that utilizes their technology is surely exciting for the young startup, Budge says that their focus is still on creating a microwave-sized 3D printer for consumers that enables them to create their own metal-based objects within their homes and garages.

The company is hoping to have a functional prototype by the end of the year and a full-sized working version ready in early 2016.   

“Once 3D printing becomes a commercially competitive process everyone will want to be printing things, because the advantages are so big,” adds Budge.  

“This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Company

 

 

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