3D Metalforge partners with UNSW to advance additive manufacturing technologies
Perth-based 3D Metalforge (ASX: 3MF) has signed a research and development collaboration agreement with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to focus on the continuous development of additive manufacturing technologies.
The agreement provides a framework for the two parties to investigate potential areas of innovation related to machine learning for the 3D printing of parts in high performance metal alloys.
It will give 3D Metalforge and UNSW an opportunity to address industry education needs through upskilling and micro-credentials, student exchange and vocational training.
The parties will also work to identify suitable academic and industry partners to expand the collaboration.
The agreement is for an initial period of 12 months and will be automatically renewed for an additional 12-month term.
3D Metalforge managing director Matthew Waterhouse said academic collaboration remained an important part of the company’s global strategy.
“Universities continue to be hubs for additive manufacturing innovation and we are pleased to explore a collaboration with UNSW as part of our engagement in the Australian market,” he said.
“Interest is growing in [our industry], with universities in Australia and across the globe working alongside companies [like ourselves] and introducing additive manufacturing laboratories and hubs to their campuses to incorporate this technology.”
Hybrid wire arc printing
Mr Waterhouse said 3D Metalforge had developed “extensive synergies” with a number of universities over the years, most recently with Singapore’s University of Technology and Design on the development of its new-to-market hybrid wire arc printer.
The machine is capable of printing larger format parts up to 1.5m and printing multiple parts simultaneously, offering significant flexibility to churn out larger production runs quickly or with variations in part designs.
It was commissioned in Singapore in April after a two-year development period and involved parts printed in high strength alloy material, demonstrating “exemplary mechanical properties” using X96 high-performance weld wire.
Mr Waterhouse said the hybrid wire arc printer would open up opportunities for the company to offer fast and cost-effective large-format parts printing to the energy, maritime and defence industries.