SPEE3D begins tests of 3D printed rocket engine


Additive manufacturing technology business SPEE3D announced that it conducted a successful hot fire test of its prototype rocket engine in Darwin in September.

The company – which sells machines based on a variety of additive manufacturing known as cold spray – said the test was the first in a series of rocket engines and components to be made and tested over the next 18 months.

SPEE3D’s “SPACE3D” project was awarded $1.25 million – announced in July 2021 – under the previous federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative and $312,000 from the Northern Territory government.

The laboratory prototype engine was a step along the way to delivering engines with reduced lead times and costs. 

“Our design, manufacturing and test expertise, once proven by events such as successful rocket engine hot fire tests, will position us well to play an important role in the rapidly expanding space industry,” said Gary Owen, Chief Space Officer for SPEE3D, in a brief statement from the company on Wednesday.

SPEE3D has two Australian sites, with co-founders Byron Kennedy and Steve Camilleri based at Dandenong South and Darwin, respectively. 

A recent interview with CTO Camilleri in the @AuManufacturing Conversations podcast, mainly covering the company’s history and its work in defence, is available here.

Picture: Filtered composite image of first hot fire test taken with high-speed camera; 500 frames per second (supplied)

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