Whilst ASX-listed Aurora Labs was locking down its Australian patent for a key part of its Multi-Layer Concurrent Printing, or “MCP” technology in readiness for commercial rollout of the tech, its R&D team have also been kept busy.
The disruptive 3D metal printing group has just received positive results from initial tests it conducted to assess the material properties of sample parts printed with specialist aluminium powders supplied by its research project collaborator, Gränges Powder Metallurgy.
Aurora is researching the possibility of using aluminium alloy powders in its powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
The company’s first non-recurring engineering research project, aptly named “NRE-1”, has delivered sufficiently favourable results to continue with its investigations that are aimed at using alloys to print specific parts for Gränges customers.
Gränges Powder Metallurgy’s Vice President and Managing Director, Filip Fernqvist said: “The NRE-1 project with A3D has been a success for Gränges Powder Metallurgy. We have proved the printability of some of our high-performance aluminium powders for Laser Bed Fusion on the A3D machines.”
“This is an important milestone in our journey to become the leading aluminium alloy developer and producer of additive manufacturing powders … in collaboration with A3D.”
During NRE-1, Aurora said it was able to explore the proficiencies of its Rapid Manufacturing Technology, or “RMT” using Granges’ unique aluminium materials and strengthen its technical team’s understanding of this evolving technology.
Aurora Labs Chief Executive Officer, Peter Snowsill said: “We are extremely pleased to have completed NRE-1 in a position to discuss further investigations with Gränges. It is encouraging to see out technology performing in a specialised body of work that ultimately could lead to the commercialisation of a value adding process and product for Granges”
“The insights gained the team have gained into the behaviour of our own technology are invaluable as we continue work on the RMP-1 Technology Development Pathway.”
As part of its commercialisation strategy, Aurora Labs has been forming strategic partnerships under joint venture or licensing models or with major industry players who have the capacity to manufacture, sell and distribute the printer.
The company has already set up a partnership with Gränges AB, a Sweden-based leading supplier of rolled aluminium products for heat exchanger applications ahead of its involvement in the current project.
Gränges took over GETEK GmbH back in October 2020 and set up the new company, Gränges Powder Metallurgy to turbo-charge its move into the growing metal powders market.
Gränges and Aurora Labs are investigating the material properties they can develop using their combined expertise in aluminium alloys and additive manufacturing to introduce the alloys into the automotive sector.
Aurora Labs’ 3D disruptive printing technology effectively “prints” or manufactures metal items from multiple layers of metal powders fused together in a single pass, rather than printing layer upon layer as per other additive manufacturing processes.
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