3D printing manufacturer Titomic (ASX:TTT) caught the market’s attention this morning with a space-related production update.

The company unveiled a 5.5m long titanium rocket at a trade show in Germany, built with its Kinetic Fusion 3D-printed additive manufacturing process.

Titomic said the capability of its technology creates a market opportunity in the global space industry, which still uses heavier materials such as stainless steel.

Shares in the company rose more than 15 per cent in morning trade to $1.30.

Lighter and stronger

Stainless steel is about twice the weight of titanium, but it only has a quarter of the strength.

In that context, Titomic said titanium components are a natural candidate for widespread use in space and defence, if they weren’t so expensive (global supply is limited, and most of it comes from Russia).

However, Australia is resource-rich in the area, with mineral sands that contain around 280m tonnes of titanium.

Titomic said its technology had a build-rate of 30kg per hour, which was well in excess of the 1kg per hour capability of existing melt-based additive manufacturing machines.

As a result, its 5.5m rocket was built in 27.6 hours. And it’s a small-scale version of a 27m rocket being developed by Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies.

Speaking with Stockhead, company chairman Phil Vafiadis said the result demonstrates Titomic’s capacity to build at scale without sacrificing quality.

“I think this announcement, combined with the recent advancements in our research division, makes it clear that the ability to make the rocket shell so fast and with such superior performance, is the game-changing thing,” he said.

Vafiadis added that the company is committed to taking extra steps required to stand out from the competition, amid rapid developments in additive manufacturing.

“There’s a lot of players in the space, and that comes with a lot of excitement. But to succeed, you really need to think about the entire supply chain,” he said.

Anyone can see the announcements we’ve made about supply, and alongside developing and delivering production capability that’s been one of or our focus points.”

“We are working with key primes, and we’ve done the work to build those connections with industry. We see this approach as a key strategic move to strengthen our business moving forward, and our ability to deliver at scale.”


In other ASX tech news today:

Payments platform iSignthis (ASX:ISX), which remains in suspension by the ASX, released another market update. The company said it was the subject of an ESG corporate rating review by proxy advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS). The company said the responsible lending arm of ICC gave it a “Prime” rating on its business operations.

And traffic management company Redflex Holdings (ASX:RDF), which provides services such as speed cameras and red light cameras for local government clients, has announced a new deal in the US market. Redflex signed an agreement with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide automated services at rail crossings and bus lanes. Shares rose 5 per cent on the news.