Aurora Labs raises 3D printing speed in chase for metal manufacturing market

Aurora Labs ASX A3D 3D printing speed Rapid Manufactuing Printer
Testing completed by Aurora has delivered print capacity of 40kg a day, representing a speed 20 times faster than comparable machines in the market.

Industrial technology company Aurora Labs (ASX: A3D) has announced a significant increase in print speed capability for its Alpha unit 3D printer utilising the company’s Rapid Manufacturing Technology (RMT).

The company is rapidly advancing its proprietary technology aimed at printing titanium objects and specialises in developing 3D metal printers, powders, digital parts and their associated intellectual property.

According to Aurora, it manufactures the world’s most affordable multi-mode 3D metal printer in its class – the S-Titanium Pro.

It expects to manufacture titanium printed parts “at a price that is cost competitive with traditional metal manufacturing,” and thereby gain a foothold in the emergent 3D printing industry that is threatening to revolutionise manufacturing to the same degree as the industrial revolution did in the 1800’s, when developed countries transitioned to new manufacturing processes and shifted away from laborious hand production methods in favour of machines and automated production.

Doubling up

Earlier today, Aurora has said it has more than doubled the current industry benchmark speed at which it can print titanium parts, having achieved a rate of 1.667 kilograms per hour – the equivalent of 40kg per day.

The significant speed increase was achieved following various testing programmes, optimisation of the printing process and further print parameter development.

The company’s stated goal, at its relatively early developmental stage, has been to optimise both print speed and quality of its flagship Alpha unit.

Following the latest tests, the printing speed achieved by Aurora is approximately 20 times the speed of a comparable size, commercially available, machine that can print titanium.

The current industry benchmark used by Aurora is 81.7 grams per hour or 1.96 kg per day – a rate which Aurora has now surpassed, but one that’s far from its ultimate target of 1,000kg per day.

For its production rate to be extended to such high capacities, Aurora intends to daisy chain several Alpha unit cores together, thereby forming faster units and facilitating “very high-speed” printing due to Aurora’s RMP being built from the ground up with a modular design that is capable of being scaled up effectively.

With its latest test considered a success, the next round of tests will be focused on “hardware changes” to achieve further speed increases with the next milestone goal of reaching around 30 times the current market speed of 1.96 kg per day with a single printing unit.

“Once again this an absolutely fantastic result for the company during its development cycle. I can’t convey enough my excitement to Aurora’s shareholders at this time, and the team’s response to these remarkable achievements that we are making with the Rapid Manufacturing Technology,” said David Budge, managing director of Aurora Labs.

“We are looking forward to a very exciting few months ahead and appreciate all the support we have from our shareholders and staff,” said Mr Budge.

If Aurora is successful in developing an effective methodology of printing metal parts, the target market for its RMP will be the global metal manufacturing market, expected to reach US$4 trillion by 2020, according to a research paper titled Global Metal Manufacturing Market Briefing 2018, published by Research and Markets earlier this year.

News of Aurora’s continued technical development and new production record helped its share price to post a 14% gain in early trade this morning, with shares trading at around $0.935 per share.

George is an award-winning market analyst who has authored articles and editorial opinion pieces for multiple publications around the world. He has written about a wide variety of topics including financial markets, stocks, trading, politics and economics.