Titomic’s innovative cold spray tech fuels OMIC R&D’s AM capabilities

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After securing contracts in the defense and aerospace sector, Titomic has announced the sale of a custom high-pressure cold spray additive manufacturing (CSAM) system to the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC R&D) for $790,000 (AUD$1.2 million).

By acquiring this new system, OMIC R&D will be well-equipped to undertake a wider range of projects in 3D printing and advanced alloy development. This system utilizes Titomic’s high-pressure cold spray technology, which offers capabilities in fabricating multi-metal parts, large-scale titanium components, and applying multi-metal coatings.

According to the company, these improvements have the potential to solve problems faced by manufacturers in industries like defense and aerospace. Moreover, OMIC R&D clientele includes Sandvik Coromant, Boeing, and Daimler, and helps them with their R&D in advanced metalworking techniques.

OMIC’s Business Development Manager, Mr. Joshua Koch, said, “OMIC R&D aims to be the first center in the United States dedicated to supporting industry adoption of additive manufacturing in an economically sustainable manner. By bringing all major forms of industrial additive manufacturing equipment under one roof, OMIC R&D can address the technology integration challenges and hesitations manufacturers face today. Titomic, a leader in cold spray technology, brings invaluable systems and support to this endeavour. We look forward to collaborating with Titomic to develop applied solutions that enable companies to make data-driven decisions about additive manufacturing.”

Expansion of Titomic’s market presence

Through this collaboration with OMIC R&D, Titomic seeks to expand its footprint in the U.S. market, providing broader accessibility to its technology within the American industrial landscape. This strategic initiative positions Titomic to capitalize on the increasing demand for advanced manufacturing solutions.

Away from OMIC R&D, Titomic sold its CSAM systems to Spain’s Fundación Centro Tecnológico Miranda de Ebro (CTME) for AUD$495,000. This acquisition included D623 medium-pressure and D523 low-pressure systems, a powder feeder, and an integrated robotic spray booth, boosting CTME’s operational precision and flexibility. 

Under the SURFERA-PLUS project funded by Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation, this partnership sought to enhance CTME’s research and manufacturing potential with versatile cold spray technology for diverse applications.

A little while before this, the Royal Netherlands Army’s land branch, the Koninklijke Landmacht, placed a significant order with Titomic for ten D523 Cold Spray 3D printers. This order, valued at €772,000 (AUD$1.28 million), represents the largest single purchase of D523 systems for Titomic to date. 

Nine of these printers are intended for deployment in Ukraine, where they will be used for in-field battle damage maintenance and repair operations. Delivery of the printers is anticipated in the coming months.

Titomic’s D523 Cold Spray 3D printer. Photo via Titomic.
Titomic’s D523 Cold Spray 3D printer. Photo via Titomic.

Impact of CSAM systems over the years

The use of cold spray systems has seen an increase over the past few years. For instance, GE scientists sought to improve cold spray deposition technology using robotics and machine learning (ML), achieving greater precision in manufacturing and repairing metal parts. Led by Leo Ajdelsztajn and Joe Vinciquerra, the team advanced the technology to produce larger metal parts beyond traditional 3D printer limits. 

For this effort, cold spray technology used supersonic gas jets to accelerate powder particles, creating strong bonds without changing original mechanical properties. Enhancements included a second robotic arm and AI integration to boost precision and efficiency in production and repairs.

One year later, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) scientists developed a metal 3D printer that created high-performance magnets using CSAM. Fabrice Bernier and Jean-Michel Lamarre at the NRC Laboratory produced magnets by firing Neodymium-Iron-Boron powder particles at a metal cylinder, forming atomic fusion bonds. 

This method combined fabrication, shaping, and adhesion, resulting in stronger, corrosion-resistant magnets. As per the scientists, the technology promised to enhance electric motor design, potentially leading to compact, efficient motors with better thermal management and complex geometries.

Most recently, Australian metal 3D printer manufacturer SPEE3D launched its latest cold spray 3D printer, the TitanSPEE3D, at the Large Scale Additive Action Team (LSAAT) meeting in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The system features a substantial build volume, capable of fabricating large metal parts quickly and sustainably, reducing production times from months to days. Paul Maloney, SPEE3D’s Chief Revenue Officer, touts the TitanSPEE3D as a game changer for industries reliant on casting, offering rapid, cost-effective production of parts weighing up to 2000 kg from various metals.

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Featured image shows Titomic’s D523 Cold Spray 3D printer. Photo via Titomic.