Australian metal 3D printing company Aurora Labs has announced the launch of the RMP1 Beta Printer, a fully operational pre-production 3D printer. The launch of the beta 3D printer takes Aurora Labs one step closer to commercialization goal. The next big step will be to gather valuable feedback from early customers for its metal RMP1 production 3D printer, which is expected to be released later this year.
The RMP1 Beta Printer, which is almost identical in operation to Aurora Labs’ final production line machines, recently underwent its first live test with success. The printer is reportedly more sophisticated than any of Aurora Labs’ previous 3D printers. For instance, with a build volume of up to 450 x 450 x 400 mm, the RMP1 Beta is capable of printing parts 10x the volume of the the company’s previous test machine, the Alpha2. The RMP1 Beta also boasts 3x the processing capacity of its predecessor.
At this stage, the RMP1 Beta printer is fully functional, with all primary sub-systems operating. Aurora Labs says it is now ready to commission the 3D printer and conduct a number of additional tests on it, such as machine calibration, printing tests and sample part production. The company has already established parameters for initial print materials (from its Alpha printer development), meaning that the RMP1 Beta will only require minimal testing.
The next step for Aurora Labs after additional testing and commissioning the beta machine will be to host an open day, at which industry partners, investors and key AM companies will be invited to view the additive technology live.
“The fact that the RMP1 Beta Printer is operational is a key milestone for the team here,” said Aurora Labs’ Managing Director David Budge. “Developing and refining our technology has been long in the making and the RMP1 Beta Printer is now built and ready to go live. We are transitioning from a heavy R&D phase with the RMP1 Beta Printer and we will now be able to move to a commercialisation and sales stage much more strongly with the technology we have developed.”
Another significant step in the 3D printer’s ultimate commercialization will be completion of its enclosure design. Aurora Labs has hired an industrial design firm to design a modern, sleek and functional casing for the 3D printer and now that the printer’s mechanics have been proven, the industrial design team will complete the enclosure for the RMP1 Printer.
Presently, the company is exploring a number of options for the beta printer once it has gone through calibration testing. One option is to sell the machine to an industry partner for further testing. However, Aurora Labs says its preferred approach is for a sale that locks customers into purchasing Aurora powders for the life of the machine, as the powders are a vital part of the metal printing ecosystem.
“We have prioritised optimising speed increases and print quality which are key pillars of the Aurora strategy, and the team has made substantial progress achieving speed increases throughout the last few months, resulting in the print of a series of 10mm high, titanium hexagon parts in a timeframe of only 20 minutes,” said Budge. “This was particularly notable as numerous industry parties commented on the speed of the machine and the fact that machines they are currently using would take 2-3 days to achieve a similar result.
We are also encouraged by the expressions of interest received from multiple parties for the RMP1 Beta Printer and look forward to updating the market with Aurora’s developments ahead.”