Nov 8, 2017 | By Benedict

Australia’s SPEE3D has announced its official global launch and the availability of its industrial metal 3D printer, which uses supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) technology to print at extremely fast speeds. The LightSPEE3D printer purportedly print metal parts in a “matter of minutes.”

SPEE3D has set itself the not unambitious goal of improving the cost, speed, and repeatability of additive manufacturing in an industry setting. But with its supersonic 3D printer now on the market, it looks ready to achieve those goals.

The company’s patented 3D printing technology can be used to make “fast, low-cost, and casting-grade” parts, which can include brackets, manifolds, and engine components, and which can be printed in single or high-volume production quantities.

Whatever the product and whatever the quantity, SPEE3D says it can print economically, on-demand, and “at speeds that are 100 to 1,000 times faster than traditional metal 3D print technologies.”

The 3D printing technology can do this because of its supersonic deposition method, which involves the use of a rocket nozzle accelerating air up to three times the speed of sound.

This cold spray system operates below the printed metal’s melting point, and produces a fine stream jetted at supersonic speed. When the particles splat against the build area, they deform and adhere (via mechanical interlocking and metallurgical bonding) to the underlying layer.

The 3D printing process—which is similar to some repair processes employed in the engineering world—is said to produce high-density parts of a high quality.

Interestingly, the LightSPEE3D 3D printer also uses a robotic system to manipulate the part as it is being printed, thus eliminating the need for support structures.

All this came about because SPEE3D saw an opportunity in the market.

“SPEE3D was started after I experienced the slow pace and lack of rigor in the high-cost, traditional metal 3D printing industry,” said Byron Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of SPEE3D. “In the past, users had to wait hours or even days to have a standard part delivered to them.”

With its supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) technology , SPEE3D changes all that.

“Now, SPEE3D can print these same parts in mere minutes, on-site, and in real time,” Kennedy explained. “This enables the accessibility of just-in-time production, allowing manufacturers the choice and flexibility of printing 10,000 parts or just a single part with ease.”

SPEE3D’s super-fast 3D printers are now available around the world, with the 3D printing company aiming to make a particular mark on aluminum and copper additive manufacturing.

Earlier this year, Australia’s Charles Darwin University acquired a SPEE3D 3D printer, becoming the first organization to install and operate the high-speed manufacturing system. Others will soon be able to see the 3D printer in action at formnext in Frankurt, Germany.

There is no stated price for the LightSPEE3D 3D printer, but Charles Darwin University reportedly required a grant of more than $300,000 to invest in the SP3D machine.

SPEE3D advantages:

  • Auto parts that would cost $3,000 and take 100 hours to print now cost $30 and take 20 minutes
  • Can print in copper and aluminum
  • Can print 45-degree overhangs without supports
  • Works with standard .STL format



Posted in 3D Printer



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