Metal 3D printer manufacturer AML3D has received a contract for the manufacture of a test part to be used in preparation of the Hunter class frigates being constructed at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.
The company did not detail the part but said it ‘may have application within BAE Systems Maritime Australia’s (BAESMA’s) contract to design and build the Hunter class frigates’.
AML3D is pioneering Wire Arc Manufacturing (WAM) which utilise automated welding techniques to construct usually massive metal parts – in 2021 it manufactured a 1.45 tonne deck-mounted Panama Chock for Keppel Technology & Innovation.
The test part contract follows previously announced feasibility and commercial validation testing programmes that demonstrated AML3D’s WAM process is a cost-effective manufacturing solution that meets the Royal Australian Navy’s standards, according to a statement.
“The contract for a test Hunter class frigate component and additional test materials will be carried out at AML3D’s manufacturing facilities in Adelaide.
“Whilst the value of the initial test is not material and is not expected to exceed $200,000, AML3D sees this as a significant milestone in the commercialisation of WAM as a manufacturing solution.”
BAE Systems has completed the prototyping phase of the Hunter frigate build and last month the frigate design achieved preliminary design review – the company has begun constructing the first ship blocks which will go together to form the future HMAS Hunter.
The work associated with this contract will commence immediately and is expected to run for 8 to 10 weeks.
AML3D’s Chief Executive Officer Sean Ebert said: “We had great confidence that our WAM technology would satisfy BAESMA’s testing and move into component manufacturing.
“AML3D has a focus on the significant demand we are seeing in the US, where we are enjoying a lot of success in winning a steady stream of contracts, but we also have a stated aim to develop our commercial relationships across additional marine and defence sectors.”
Picture: AML3D/Arcemy metal 3D printer