Titomic’s giant 3D printer can spit out a new bicycle every 25 minutes
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A titanium bicycle 3D-printed in 25 minutes – that’s just one of the promises from manufacturing specialist Titomic which enjoyed a spectacular ASX debut on Thursday.
Titomic’s shares surged to 45c on its first day of trade — a 125 per cent premium on its 20c offer price.
Titomic (ASX:TTT) uses a 3D metal-printing technology co-developed with CSIRO that can manufacture complex parts without shape or size constraints — up to 30 times faster than conventional hardware.
The system deploys the same “Cold Spray” technique the US military use to repair Blackhawk helicopters.
Titomic raised $6.5 million to build one of the world’s biggest 3D printing facilities in Melbourne — big enough to house projects up to 40.5 cubic meters.
Operating officer Simon Mariott said the technology would be a gamechanger.
“The technology opens up a whole new field of material science that the industry has never played with before,” he said.
“If we were to grow a bicycle in a standard printer, it grows in three sections and would take 60 hours to build. Ours takes 25 minutes and is printed in one piece.”
Unlike regular 3D printers, the technology uses a “cold spray” process to spray metal powder at a super high velocity. Instead of melting and using heat, the fine metal powder goes through a plasticising phase to create an object.
Cold spray has historically been used for metal coatings or repairs in industrial and military sectors, adapted from use as a repair agent for Blackhawk helicopters in the US military.
The company first has its sights set on the bicycle industry but has identified opportunities to evolve into medical mobility, hospital aides, aerospace and later, defence.
The system could be used to build everything from golf clubs to wheelchairs, aircraft fuselage, surgical instruments and defence components.
“What we are doing again with our process means we aren’t restricted to the usual 3D printing chamber size,” Mr Mariott said.
“We can build large parts up to 6 metres in length, effectively turning the small, high-value market into broad-scale industrial.”
A research and development cell and production line are currently in construction in Melbourne, replicating prototypes developed at the CSIRO. The first plant is expected to be commissioned early next year.
3D printing or additive manufacturing has gained popularity in recent years as giants such as Siemens and GE have put money towards their own developments.