Two new ARCEMY 3D printers ordered by LWS to support the US Navy’s supply chain

Australian 3D printer manufacturer AML3D has received an order for two of its ARCEMY Small Edition 2600 3D printers from US Navy submarine component supplier Laser Welding Solutions (LWS). 

The deal, worth AUD$0.70 million (US$0.46 million), will see LWS lease the 3D printers for 12 months, with an option to purchase them outright at any point during the lease term. A 12-month software licensing and ongoing technical support are also included.  

These two 3D printers will add to the company’s existing ARCEMY 2600 system, which it acquired in September 2023. Together, they will support LWS’s ongoing efforts to accelerate the qualification of ARCEMY Nickel Aluminum Bronze (NAB) components for the US Navy’s Submarine industrial base. 

By leasing two additional Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) systems to LSW, AML3D continues to advance its US ‘Scale-Up’ strategy. This initiative seeks to address supply chain challenges within the US Department of Defense (DoD), with a focus on US Navy submarines. According to AML3D, ‘Scale-Up’ delivered over AUD$12 million from orders in 2023.      

AML3D will airfreight the two ARCEMY 2600’s from Adelaide, South Australia to LSW’s base in Houston, Texas. The 3D printers are expected to be operational within 8 to 10 weeks.     

“This new order for 2 additional ARCEMY systems helps deepen our relationship with LWS and illustrates how important our advanced manufacturing technology is to the US Defence sector,” commented AML3D CEO Sean Ebert. “AML3D ARCEMY systems can produce higher quality components, faster and with less waste than traditional manufacturing which is driving demand from the US Navy and the wider US Navy submarine industrial base supply chain.”

ARCEMY 2600 Small Edition 3D printer. Photo via AML3D.
ARCEMY Small Edition 2600 3D printer. Photo via AML3D.

AML3D continues US Navy ‘Scale Up’ strategy

Global geopolitical insecurities, environmental challenges, and attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea have led to the US DoD’s increased adoption of additive manufacturing technology. By bolstering its 3D printing capabilities, the US military hopes to establish resilient, competitive, and sustainable domestic supply chains of essential metal parts. 

Tapping into this demand, AML3D’s is working to become a point of need, additive manufacturing solution for the US Navy’s Submarine industrial base through its ‘Scale Up’ strategy. The company’s new collaboration with LSW is the latest in a long line of deals to increase adoption of its ARCEMY technology into the wider US Navy supply chain.   

Earlier this year, it was announced that a large-scale ARCEMY ‘X-Edition 6700’ 3D printer had been commissioned at the US Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) in Danville, Virginia. Worth AUD$1.1 million, the WAAM system is the company’s largest metal 3D printer and was delivered via AML3D reseller Phillips Corporation

This followed the news in November 2023 that the company had received around AUD$5 million worth of orders for its ARCEMY technology from US Defense contractors Cogitic Corporation and Austal USA

Worth AUD$2.5 million, Cogitic’s deal outlined the delivery of metal 3D printed parts for US Navy submarines. Austal USA’s AUD$2.2 million saw an ARCEMY WAAM 3D printer installed at its Virginia-based Advanced Manufacturing Centre. 

Earlier in 2023, AML3D received a USD$0.6 million NAB component order to support the US Navy’s submarine program. Through this deal, the company was contracted to produce a 3D printed prototype part weighing around 1 tonne which was to be delivered in the space of 22-24 weeks. 

2023 also saw the installation of an ‘X-Edition 6700’ 3D printer at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The 3D printer, worth approximately AUD$1.0 million, was acquired to accelerate the US Defense industrial base’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.    

Away from the US DoD, AML3D recently signed an AUD$0.35 million contract with Toolcraft Australia. This deal will see the company supply a 6-part nozzle assembly for the Australian Government’s Defense Science and Technology Group (DSTG) project. AML3D hopes that the delivery of this assembly will highlight the ability of its WAAM 3D printing technology to produce parts in less time than traditional manufacturing methods. 

After initially delivering a 4-stage nozzle assembly, AML3D added an additional two stages of an Aluminium ER5183 nozzle assembly to bring the total to six. Two stages are anticipated to be delivered this financial year, with the remaining four stages expected in FY25.  

Typical ARCEMY metal 3D printing system. Image via AML3D.
Inside a typical ARCEMY metal 3D printing system. Image via AML3D.

Securing US defense supply chains with 3D printing 

The US Navy’s efforts to build a strong 3D printing supply chain are not limited to AML3D. It was announced earlier this year that Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc. (BPMI) had selected Velo3D’s fully integrated metal 3D printing system to support the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.  

The selected metal additive manufacturing solution will feature Velo3D’s Sapphire XC large format 3D printer calibrated for stainless steel 415. Materials company ATI will operate this system at its newly established Florida-based additive manufacturing facility. By integrating Velo3D’s 3D printing technology, BPMI and ATI hope to reduce lead times for critical components required for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.   

Additionally, Rocket engine manufacturer Ursa Major recently signed a contract with the US Navy to design, produce and test a 3D printed solid rocket motor (SRM) for the Standard Missile (SM) program. Here, Ursa Major will leverage its Lynx metal 3D printing system to manufacture the prototype SRMs designed to power the US Navy’s SM-2, SM-3, and SM-6 missiles. It is hoped that this deal will meet demand for the production of key missile components on US soil.           

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Featured image shows an ARCEMY Small Edition 2600 3D printer. Photo via AML3D.