Titomic, an Australian company specializing in metal additive manufacturing, is moving into the next stage of its joint project with TAUV, a developer of 3D printed armour and defense systems. The companies first partnered in fall 2018 on the TAUV Soldier System project, which leverages Titomic’s metal AM technology to prototype products for military or civil security personnel. This week, the companies have announced the completion of the prototyping stage of the collaboration.
Specifically, the companies have completed the Phase II Project Agreement for the TAUV Soldier Systems project, which required Titomic to deliver five prototype defense Soldier System products. Soldier System products encompass any equipment that is to be personally carried, worn, deployed or used by military or civil personnel and which enhances “individual and unit collective safety, lethality, mobility and connectivity.”
Wrapping up the $300,000 Phase II of the project, Titomic has delivered the five prototypes to TAUV, which will move ahead with testing and assessment. Each prototype was manufactured using the Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) additive manufacturing process, which enables the production of complex titanium parts.
Impressively, the five prototypes were 3D printed and delivered to TAUV in less than six months, marking a significantly faster turnaround time compared to standard defense industry R&D timeframes (which are often between 18 and 24 months). Titomic’s AM process, exclusively licensed from CSIRO, allowed for accelerated timeframes, demonstrating the viability of its process for Soldier System products.
“The successful delivery of the TAUV prototypes in just a matter of months further demonstrates the superior economics of TKF metal AM to compete, not only with other additive manufacturing companies, but with traditional methods like investment casting, metal injection moulding and CNC,” commented Jeff Lang, Titomic Managing Director. “The TAUV project is a world first for additive manufactured Titanium defense products and realizes Titomic Kinetic Fusion viability for commercial mass production and revenue opportunities. This is a significant milestone for Titomic’s commercial revenue opportunities.”
Not only did Titomic’s TKF process enable faster turnaround times for TAUV’s prototypes, but it also resulted in higher quality parts with improved performance.
Nathan Kalisch, TAUV CEO, elaborated: “Initial testing of TAUV’s high performance soldier system products manufactured by Titomic appear to have superior performance capabilities which we were seeking to achieve during this project utilizing Titomic’s TKF additive manufacturing process.
“If all of the results continue to progress positively, these TKF produced products will provide TAUV with a significant market advantage over our competitors who are manufacturing using traditional methods. Titomic’s TKF process enhances our offering to defence and law enforcement agencies through improved strength, functionality and capability. We have been impressed by Titomic’s very fast concept R&D feasibility process to bring our concept ideas to a commercial realization.”
Interestingly, one of the prototyped products 3D printed by Titomic was a Titanium soldier enabled UAV, which now holds the title of largest 3D printed titanium drone. By 3D printing the UAV using its TKF process, Titomic was able to significantly reduce the weight of the device, while simultaneously meeting strength characteristics fit for live combat situations.