Additive Manufacturing for remote operating environments

4 companies to develop low-cost metal 3D printing technology for the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industries are not part of the demanding applications of the 3D printing industry and yet these areas of activity also require 3D printing in certain processes. In order to manufacture necessary parts on site at a reasonable price, Nera (National Energy Resources in Australia) collaborates with SPEE3D, Charles Darwin University and an oil and gas operator to develop a high-speed and low-cost metal 3D printing technology.

The technology of SPEE3D, at the heart of this partnership

SPEE3D is an Australian company that specializes in metal 3D printing technology. Called supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D), the technology was originally intended for military and repair applications.

Thanks to a rocket nozzle, the process of its technology can drive to three times the speed of sound. Deposits powders are simultaneously injected into the nozzle onto a substrate that being moved by a six-axis robotic arm.

According to the company, another capability of this technology is that it allows onsite metal part production and removing the costly delays involved with sourcing materials from far afield.

SPEE3D’ additive manufacturing technology is different from others of the same range because its technique relies “on kinetic energy from a rocket engine rather than thermal energy from a laser to promote the bonding of metal particles”.

In this partnership, roles are clearly outlined. The operator provides the problem statement; SPEE3D provides its technology and Charles Darwin University will provide the testing facilities.

The printer, once finalised and validated, becomes the newest product from Australian company SPEE3D, and will be used throughout Australia and exported all over the world as the product able to generate parts on demand for remotely located, heavily industrial sites.

We can’t wait to see the first project they will achieve using this new metal printing technology.

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