Mobile Manufacturing Unit Launched for Rapid Metal 3D Printing

The Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit (EMU) from SPEE3D enables the rapid replacement of metal parts for defense applications, without requiring hazardous and costly lasers or inert gasses By William Mackenzie / 20 May 2024
Mobile Manufacturing Unit Launched for Rapid Metal 3D Printing
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Metal additive manufacturer SPEE3D has launched its Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit (EMU), a complete on-site mobile additive manufacturing solution for defense and industrial equipment. 

EMU combines SPEE3D’s expeditionary metal 3D printer, XSPEE3D, with its SPEE3Dcell post-processing and testing unit in two 20-foot shipping containers, which together can produce cast-equivalent metal parts in record time close to the point of need.

SPEE3D’s EMU enables the replacement of metal parts in hours, instead of days or weeks, minimizing the cost of disruption and downtime. EMU enables industries with large industrial equipment, including defense, mining, and marine, to quickly print and replace large metal parts in the field. 

Unlike other additive manufacturing solutions, the EMU does not require dangerous and expensive lasers or inert gasses. Additionally, no extensive prior expertise with additive manufacturing technology is required.

The system includes two 20-foot containers with twist locks, a ruggedized, mobile metal 3D printer that can produce high-density metal parts in a wide range of materials, and a fully-equipped post-processing shop – including a heat treatment furnace, CNC three-axis mill, tooling, and testing equipment. As an expeditionary product, EMU can be transported on a single platform (truck trailer/ship/plane).

Participating in the European Defence Agency’s AM Village 2024 Workshop in Tournai, Belgium, SPEE3D will demonstrate its deployable technology alongside the British Army to militaries from over 25 EU and NATO countries.

SPEE3D works extensively with defense around the world, including the Japanese, US, UK, and Australian Defence forces. In 2023, a team was in Poland training Ukrainian military personnel on the technology. In the future, SPEE3D states that it will be working with the UAE Military of Defense.

Byron Kennedy, CEO of SPEE3D, commented; “The launch of our Expeditionary Manufacturing Unit addresses the current state of the global supply chain, which is fragile and increasingly under pressure.

“Part of the issue for defence and other heavy industries is getting critical equipment up and running quickly to avoid costly production delays. EMU will enable the British Army and others to take control, giving them the ability to print and post-process parts very quickly from anywhere.”

A UK Army spokesperson added; “Through its continual programme of modernisation, the British Army embraces new innovative manufacturing solutions to keep it at the forefront of emerging technology and at a tactical advantage over its potential adversaries.

“Our collaboration with SPEE3D has produced the world’s first fully field deployable 3D cold metal printing capability, heralding a step change in deployable engineering capabilities for our forces deployed overseas.”

Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact
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