12 November 2023

Exports grow for NT-based 3D metal printing company

| Andrew McLaughlin
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A SPEE3D 3D metal printer undergoing trials at the NT’S rugged Mt Bundy Training Area. Photo: ADF.

Northern Territory-based 3D metal printing company SPEE3D has been quietly gaining some export success with its world-leading 3D printing technology.

Recently it was announced that Australia would donate a SPEE3D machine to Ukraine as part of its latest military support package, but the company has also sold machines to other countries in Europe, Asia, UK and the US, with the main focus being on the defence market.

SPEE3D was founded in 2016 by Darwin locals Byron Kennedy and Steven Camilleri who previously worked together as members of the Charles Darwin University World Solar Car Challenge team.

In 2002 Kennedy and Camilleri formed In Motion Technology (IMT) to commercialise their axial flux motor technology, and this is now used around the world as one of the most successful commercial spinoffs from solar car racing. With the proceeds of a successful sale of IMT, the pair formed SPEE3D in 2016.

Since then, SPEE3D has commercialised and expanded its innovative kinetic 3D printing technology into the defence and resource sectors. The Australian army has also extensively tested SPEE3D printers in the harsh environment of its Northern territory training ranges, and the printers have been used in major exercises by Australia and its allies.

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Steven Camilleri said the company had expanded from the NT to Melbourne and international locations. “We developed our metal 3D printers in the Territory, and we continue to innovate from the Territory, along with our teams based in Melbourne and internationally.

“It is because of continuous support our business has received from the NT and Federal Governments, local investment such as the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund, and the work we are doing with CDU (Charles Darwin University), all this has contributed to our business’s rapid export growth with global defence forces, including Ukraine.

“We remain committed to supporting Australia’s advanced manufacturing future with innovative manufacturing technology.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said SPEE3D had become an Australian success story. “Focused on innovation and creating the jobs of the future, they are part of my government’s $20 million defence industry support package to Ukraine,” he said.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles added: “SPEE3D is an innovative local story, and we are backing them to create as many local jobs as possible.

“International trade is a significant driver of the Territory’s economy and is key to growing investment and developing new job and business opportunities. It is also integral to achieving the NT Government’s goal of becoming a $40 billion economy by 2030.”

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