One step closer to 3D printed body armours

Since December 2020, AML3D Limited is collaborating with Lightforce a manufacturer of defence solutions, for their next-generation ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour prototype trials. 

The Australian expert in WAAM announces that they are entering the Stage 2 trials of the project. The company says that results of the first phase of the Stage 2 testing scope revealed further opportunities across the ballistics range and testing plate parameters.

Therefore, the initial testing scope has been expanded to accommodate this broader range. Both AML3D and Lightforce remain focused and committed in their progress towards a commercial outcome.

The Memorandum of Understanding between AML3D and Lightforce (executed in December 2019), has resulted in AML3D’s market leading 3D Printing solution, Wire Arc Manufacturing (“WAM®”), being used to manufacture the early titanium body armour prototypes. Once the full range of detailed testing is completed and assessed, Lightforce will be focused on the commercialisation and business opportunities for the product range.

WAM® has unique capabilities in that it is able to print bespoke, 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 customisable ‘made-to-fit’ solutions whereby the torso of a soldier is scanned, with the armour then produced for that soldier’s specific requirements. This innovative offering is set to be a disruptor in an industry expected to exceed +US$3.5bn by 20281 and being driven by increasing global tensions and advances in modern technologies, such as 3D Printing.

Once AML3D has completed the additional titanium body armour test plates, they will undergo the same rigorous repeatability testing under various conditions and will be assessed on their ballistic performance. Print manufacturing by AML3D and testing, by Lightforce, is expected to be completed by Q3 FY22.

The global body armour market is massive and growing, so it is important that we cement a foothold in this market. It is a real credit to our team that their work on the early-stage prototypes of next- generation ‘made-to-fit’ titanium body armour has resulted in AML3D moving to the next stage of manufacturing and testing with Lightforce. 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. This latest development follows a strong year for AML3D as we move from early-stage development of our business model to a company with sustainable and material revenue growth”, Mr Andrew Sales, Managing Director of AML3D states.

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