AMl3d is disrupting the global metal components supply chain

AML3D is disrupting the global metal components supply chain with its Wire Additive Manufacturing (WAM®) process, which was granted an Australian patent just last month.

Leveraging the power of welding science, robotics, automation, materials engineering and proprietary software, AML3D offers an innovative automated 3D printing system. Their WAM® process enables fast, efficient, cost-effective, environmentally sustainable manufacturing of metal components, particularly when compared to traditional casting, forging or billet machining methods.

The award of the Australian patent for its WAM® process marked a significant milestone for AML3D—a milestone that was celebrated at the launch of its brand new, multi-million-dollar South Australian headquarters in July.

According to Andrew Sales (Managing Director, AML3D), “The opening of this incredible facility has been a long-time dream of AML3D and marks yet another significant milestone for our company and our journey alongside the recent granting of our patent. Our new premises will enable AML3D to keep up with accelerating demand in 3D printing, while continuing to push boundaries in technological research and development.”

The Factory of the Future

AML3D also took the opportunity at its launch event to announce that it is set to establish a Research and Development (R&D) facility at the state-of-the-art Factory of the Future currently under development by Flinders University and BAE Systems at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide.

The installation of an AML3D Arcemy® unit at the Factory of the Future will form the basis of a formal additive manufacturing R&D facility at Tonsley.

“The trials and research projects to be undertaken at the facility in conjunction with BAE Systems and Flinders University will enable AML3D to further develop its large-scale metal additive manufacturing capability,” said Sales. “There’s also the opportunity to involve students from Flinders University, and to upskill and nurture the next generation of Australia’s workforce.”

Industry 4.0 in Shipbuilding

According to Sales, this collaboration with Flinders University and BAE Systems aligns well with AML3D’s growing use of Industry 4.0 methodologies.

“Industry 4.0 capability is a vital component of all major defence shipbuilding contracts—everything is digitally traceable. When a component is being fabricated, it can be pinpointed within a specific stage of production. Every machine can be monitored for maintenance, and personnel can even be located within the workshop.”

“With a focus on ease of use for our customers, all our devices are Internet of Things (IoT) capable as well. Our units can all be connected through the internet in such a way that they collect data and provide feedback that can then be used to help control the system. We’ve effectively created a feedback loop for elements such as machine set up, in-process monitoring and maintenance. If a customer needs some assistance, we can connect to their device remotely, and even run the machine for them,” said Sales.

Huge Opportunities in Defence

This collaborative project with BAE Systems expands on AML3D’s already extensive work in the defence sector.

“We have a bespoke technique that some of the defence industry primes and large tier one contractors are starting to use, including Boeing, ThyssenKrupp and Austal Shipbuilding,” explained Sales.

“The defence sector is recognising the benefits afforded by 3D printing, particularly cost and delivery timeframe reductions. The primes are no longer reliant on having parts shipped across the globe from specialised steel mills and forging factories in Asia, Europe and North America. With government mandates on local content in place, there are significant opportunities to 3D print components locally.”

About AML3D and the WAM® process

A highly innovative process, WAM® combines an electric arc with certified welding wire, as feedstock, to produce medium to large scale, free-form parts. WAM® removes the traditional size restrictions of 3D printing, and substantially reduces high-cost material waste and fabrication time.

WAM® can be applied to all weldable metal alloys, from aluminium and titanium, through to nickel alloys, high strength steel and more. For enhanced properties, parts can be heat-treated or coated.

Characterised under 3D printing standards as Direct Energy Deposition, WAM® can easily compete with other wire-feed-stock metal printing techniques, including electron beam and wire fed laser beam melting.