Issue 1
Monday, 04 March 2019
Charles Darwin University
AMA Director Dr Rebecca Murray with a military-specification part manufactured in CDU's 3D printer
AMA Director Dr Rebecca Murray with a military-specification part manufactured in CDU's 3D printer

CDU 3D printer recognised as military supplier

By Jon Taylor

CDU’s LightSPEE3D printer has been accepted into a military sales catalogue that features some of the biggest defence contractors in the world.

The Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA), which was founded by CDU and with technology partner SPEE3D, appears in this year’s Australian Military Sales Catalogue.

The catalogue is an inventory of military equipment and services and forms part of the Australian Government’s plans to turn the country into a major defence exporter. The publication features some of the biggest defence suppliers in the world including Boeing, Thales and Northrop Grumman.

The AMA is promoting its ability to train people on a new technology, manufacture parts on demand, build prototypes and create legacy parts in either a one-off basis through to mini production runs.

Director of the CDU-based AMA, Dr Rebecca Murray said being accepted into a catalogue, which also features some of the biggest names in defence, was great recognition of the Alliance’s work and research.

“The AMA is excited to be featured in the same catalogue next to the suppliers of some of the most sophisticated and high-tech defence equipment on the planet, especially since we were established less than two years ago,” Dr Murray said.

“Defence is a great fit for our manufacturing because often parts are needed quickly to meet operational demands, new designs need to be manufactured for testing and a supply of legacy parts is often still needed.

“The strength of the manufacturing process with this new technology is that it can be operated nearly anywhere, can shorten design cycles and produce parts quickly as one-offs or small batches for testing. The traditional casting manufacturing systems can’t offer these attributes,” she said.

Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo recently launched the catalogue to foreign ambassadors, defence attachés and leading figures from the defence industry.

Australia’s defence manufacturing industry employs about 27,000 people and generates about $750 million in exports a year.

Dr Murray said that being represented in one of the key sales initiatives in the defence manufacturing sector would hopefully pay dividends.

“The capability and capacity of the technology and our people have been recognised, which is tremendous from a Northern Territory perspective, particularly what it says about our capacity for innovation,” she said.