3D printing specialist Aurora Labs (ASX: A3D) has added former federal minister Chris Ellison and highly experienced civil engineer and mining executive Steve Zaninovich to its team to build sales momentum on the back of a major new technical development within the company.
Mr Zaninovich and Mr Ellison come on board following the launch earlier this month of the newly designed AL250 laser powder bed fusion machine, with the larger sales and marketing focus set to highlight the machine’s cost saving capabilities to the defence, oil and gas and mining industries.
With a lengthy career in the mining industry, Mr Zaninovich is currently a non-executive director of Canyon Resources (ASX: CAY), Sarama Resources (ASX: SRR) and Mako Gold (ASX: MKG) and chairman of Lycopodium Minerals (ASX: LYL).
Vast government and defence experience added
A chancellor at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Mr Ellison was a cabinet minister with the Howard federal government and a part of the ministry for a decade. He was Australia’s longest serving justice minister.
For the last 10 years he has been a director/trustee of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation which manages superannuation for members of the Australian Defence Force.
“We look forward to working with our new strategic advisors,” chief executive officer, Rebekah Letheby, said.
“The benefit of such counsel will bring decisive added value to the dynamic development and operation of Aurora Labs, as both members share their knowledge and insights into the defence and mining sectors which can complement our commercial strategies to grow our business.”
New printer development
The new AL250 commercial printer project is a transition from the operation of Aurora Labs RMP-1 printer model, with a step change in the capabilities of the newly designed AL250 laser powder bed fusion machine.
Aurora’s plan is for the AL250 to be initially employed as a working model in its printing bureau as an example of the company’s service offering.
The AL250 technology has been designed to reduce costs and save time, with its ability to bi-directionally recoat the powder bed, powered by Aurora’s patented multi-layer concurrent printing (MCP) technology.
The company says this will provide a reduction in recoat time and has the benefit to cut production costs due to allowing greater laser exposure times.
This will allow industry products to be prototyped and printed in serial production runs, with custom parts or components being able to be created at rates that are otherwise unobtainable through traditional manufacturing methods.
Powder dosing mechanism
A key component of the AL250’s functionality is its unique powder dosing mechanism, where powder is conditioned with heat, prior to being deposited to the recoating system, ensuring optimal temperatures of powders for spreading and densifying when building a powder layer.
Aurora has designed the system so that powder layer consistency can reduce mechanical defects within parts and ensures a quality repeatable build.
Alongside this functionality, the AL250 holds a build plate heater capable of 200°C for extra capability in materials research, and strict environmental control processes allow monitoring over the flow and recirculation of gases, temperature and humidity while printing is undergoing in the build chamber.
High standard lasing power
Aurora has also implemented high quality lasing power in the AL250 machine, with a full 1500W per laser available for deployment to lase highly reflective or conductive powders, such as copper.
Efficient and optimised process parameters utilising this power for processing a variety of powder materials will be available to purchase with the machine.
The company believes these specialist capabilities will be particularly attractive to the aerospace, defence and resource industries.