Wire Additive Manufacturing for Defence

Innovating Defence Manufacturing

AML3D desires to equip Australian Defence and our tri-lateral partners with cutting-edge, emerging manufacturing technology to improve supply chain resilience and self-reliance.

ARCEMY® offers a true sovereign manufacturing solution for Land, Sea, and Air programs to produce medium to large-scale, heavy-duty, high-value material parts.

2023-06-29 ARCEMY X IMG_5600
2023-06-29 ARCEMY X IMG_5600

Equipping Defence

Metal 3D printing has evolved with AML3D’s patented Wire-arc Additive Manufacturing process, creating high-strength, robust and on-demand parts for the Defence industry.

WAM® or Metal 3D Printing can support manufacturing parts across various Defence programs, including Navy, Land, and Air. Parts printed using AML3D’s ARCEMY® and WAM® technology have also been used in Space programs. ARCEMY® and WAM® can support new programs with innovative and optimised components and maintenance and sustainment programs where critical items may be obsolete, difficult to source, expensive or with extended lead times.

At AML3D, we are committed to building sovereign capability and supply chain resilience. We understand that sovereign capability is critical to the Defence Industry and are excited to support the sovereign industrial capability priorities with WAM® for AUKUS and Five Eyes Alliance.

With parts manufacturing occurring close to a source of need combined with an extensive local supply chain, we can partner globally with Primes and Defence Capability Service Providers to deliver Manufacturing for projects following Industry Capability Program requirements.

Certified Parts for Defence

Certification and accreditation are integral to manufacturing in many industries, with none more stringent than Defence. Certification and accreditation ensure not only the safety of Defence force and protective services personnel but also product integrity and reliability of operations, maximise productivity, mitigate risk, and demonstrate compliance with industry codes.

AML3D is the world’s first Wire Additive Manufacturing facility to receive certification for Lloyd’s Register “Additive Manufacturing Facility Qualification” and to become a “DNV Approved Maritime Manufacturer”. Without these certifications, parts validation and certification of WAM® manufactured products would not be possible; end-use parts must be manufactured to global standards and be fit for commercial use.

Parts manufactured using WAM® and ARCEMY® are compliant with the globally accepted American Welding Society. Under the criticality classifications of Class A, B and C, ARCEMY® can manufacture to the Standard Specification for Fabrication of Metal Components using Additive Manufacturing (AWS D20.1/D20.1M:2019) and ASME BPVC Section IX. Additionally, AML3D operates a Quality Management System in compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for all 3D metal printing, additive manufacturing, and welding structures.

From Left: Austal Technology Project Manager Jeffrey Poon, DNV Representative Jude Stanislaus, AML3D Chief Technology Officer Andy Sales with a sample of the davit produced during the additive manufacturing project. (image: Austal Australia)
From Left: Austal Technology Project Manager Jeffrey Poon, DNV Representative Jude Stanislaus, AML3D Chief Technology Officer Andy Sales with a sample of the davit produced during the additive manufacturing project. (image: Austal Australia)
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2023-06-29 ARCEMY X IMG_5996

Stronger Parts, Faster For Defence

AML3D’s WAM® provides improved part performance, resulting in stronger and lighter weight components faster.

Traditional manufacturing methods have design constraints that additive manufacturing can overcome. Complex shapes can be metal 3D printed near net shape, using less material than conventional methods such as billet machining. Additionally, readily available ASME-certified wire feedstock enables a faster production time. With little to no lead time required for sourcing manufacturing materials, part quality and material benefits become the manufacturing focus.

ARCEMY® and AML3D’s patented Wire Additive Manufacturing process can produce parts using expensive high-strength-to-weight metals such as Titanium. Titanium is commonly used in aerospace to create end-use products, resulting in lightweight components that improve the fuel economy of aircraft, land vehicles and navy ships, enhancing mobility and, ultimately, the survival of personnel.

Nickel and Copper alloys are materials frequently used to manufacture Defence parts. Both alloys are known for specific material characteristics when used in seawater environments.

Independent testing has shown that Wire-arc Additive Manufacturing high-strength steel has achieved 30% higher ultimate tensile strength than forged standards. This result highlights the potential use of WAM® for structural components for maritime vessels and land vehicles.

Furthermore, 3D modelling used within the 3D printing process can optimise designs for improved performance. Optimised parts often result in removing weaknesses, preventing failure in critical components. Design for Additive Manufacture (DfAM) is further enabled with AML3D’s proprietary software WAMSoft®, where it is possible to plan pathways and run simulations for deposition digitally, determining print success before the manufacture starts, saving time and cost while ensuring the success of part manufacture.

Due to the many requirements for product variants, traditional methods of “one size fits all” mass production manufacturing can be inappropriate for Defence programs. 3D printing technologies like WAM®, which can scale, have a unique application in creating tooling for many composite products. These tooling products include maritime components, protection equipment, and unmanned vehicle and aircraft components. WAM® is a proven, cost-effective method to manufacture tooling to meet this demand.

Improve Your Part Supply Chain

Industry Case Studies


AML3D WAM® Propeller

Demonstrating ARCEMY® and Wire Additive Manufacturing’s capability to reduce metal part production times when compared to traditional manufacturing methods, AML3D’s case study CAD to Part in 24 hours showcases the transformative potential of WAM from design to production to post-production treatment.

2022-06-29 Pipe Spool Printing

AML3D WAM® Pipe Spool

Leveraging advanced CAD design and precise control over the wire additive manufacturing process, AML3D successfully fabricated a complex, schedule 160 concentric reducer for the high-pressure industry. The verification of this part helps to demonstrate the technology, its structural integrity, reliability, and capability for large-scale industrial applications.