Additive manufacturing technology company AML3D (ASX: AL3) and defence solutions developer Lightforce Australia have locked in an extension to stage two testing of a next-generation ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour prototype.
Under the terms of the testing agreement, AML3D has agreed to develop a number of additional body armour prototypes of varying thicknesses and finishes with a range of techniques and treatments to undergo repeatability ballistics testing.
Print manufacturing by AML3D and testing by Lightforce is expected to be completed by mid-2022.
The first phase of the stage two prototype testing in December identified additional opportunities across the ballistics range and testing plate parameters, prompting the partners to consider expanding the scope to accommodate the broader range.
It follows positive results from stage one testing and enhances the significance of a 2019 memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies.
Once the full range of detailed testing is completed and assessed, Lightforce will focus on business opportunities for the product range.
AML3D and Lightforce have confirmed they remain focused and committed in their progress towards a commercial outcome.
Wire arc technology
AML3D uses its wire arc manufacturing technology to print customised body armour using ‘unforgiving’ materials (such as titanium) with significantly lower emissions and less waste than traditional manufacturing techniques such as forging and casting.
The global armour market is demanding ‘made-to-fit’ solutions whereby the torso of a soldier is scanned and the measurements used to produce armour specifically to individual requirements.
AML3D said the “innovative offering” is set to be a disruptor in an industry expected to exceed US$3.5 billion (A$4.82 billion) by 2028 and is being driven by increasing global tensions and advances in modern technologies such as 3D printing.
AML3D managing director Andrew Sales said the stage two extension would help deliver a competitive product in a growing industry.
“The global body armour market is massive and growing, so it is important that we cement a foothold in this market,” he said.
“We have the in-house capability and capacity to take on the commercialisation of ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour and are confident that the quality of our prototypes in this next round of manufacturing and testing will deliver further successful results.”