3D metal printer is open for business

08-Dec-2017

Dr Rebecca Murray shows how the copper parts of the trophies for the NT Digital Excellence Awards are created. Photo: Julianne Osborne

Dr Rebecca Murray shows how the copper parts of the trophies for the NT Digital Excellence Awards are created. Photo: Julianne Osborne


The world’s first commercial 3D metal printer has produced 14 trophies in its official debut to the community, at the inaugural Northern Territory Awards for Digital Excellence.

The cutting edge LightSPEE3D printer, located at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus, made each copper trophy pattern in four minutes and 30 seconds.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Murray said creating the accolades was a fitting first public demonstration for the machine, which is at the centre of a new industrial transformation research hub, known as the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA)

“We are taking metal casting technology, which is more than 5000 years old, into the digital age,” she said.

“The event was a great opportunity to showcase what we can do and let potential industry partners know we are open for business.

“We want people to contact the AMA with their ideas for projects so we can work with them to scope out if this machine is right for them.”

Dr Murray said she worked closely with local business Darwin Sheet Metal, which helped design the trophies and created the aluminium NT shapes with a laser cutter.

The AMA is an open alliance founded by the Darwin-based start-up company that invented the printer, SPEE3D, and CDU. The Alliance aims to build a user base through local and global business members, and to collaborate with global research networks in advanced manufacturing.