Metal 3D Printing for Defence Industry

Metal 3D printed suppressors for military, police

The military and police have always pushed the boundaries in terms of leading-edge technology and for that reason they have been the early adopters of additive manufacturing. Complex geometries can be achieved that would be difficult to create using traditional manufacturing. Organic shapes, non-uniform sections and hollow areas become possible, leading to a part optimised for function and costs using metal 3D printing.

With additive manufacturing, lead times can be reduced to days, and this shortens the product development cycle. The printing of these parts on demand offers an alternative to keeping a stock of parts.

We have been collaborating with Oceania Defence, a world leader in firearms suppressors since 2012. Oceania Defence relocated its business to RAM3D’s bespoke factory in Tauranga, NZ in July 2019, and the business relationship continues to go from strength to strength. The suppressors are 3D printed in both Titanium 64 and Inconel 718 powders.



Oceania Defence

Oceania Defence develops the world’s most advanced firearms suppressor

Bert Wilson, Managing Director of Oceania Defence, an engineer and long-time shooter was inspired to design a titanium suppressor once he learnt about the capabilities of metal 3D printing. Suppressors reduce the noise created when a bullet leaves the barrel of a firearm and allows the shooter to fire the gun multiple times without the need for ear protection.

As an early adopter of the additive manufacturing technology, Oceania Defence has been able to secure patents on suppressors made via metal 3D printing. New Zealand was the perfect place for this project as there are no restrictions on suppressor ownership and supply and the cost structure of 3D printing in NZ is extremely competitive.

RAM3D’s partnership with Oceania Defence allows both companies to fine-tune suppressor designs to create a range of suppressors in both titanium and inconel that many defence forces want to use. Together, we have been able to achieve the most desired outcome, a suppressor which is highly efficient, lightweight, compact and importantly cost effective to make.

The suppressors are printed as one integral unit from Titanium 64 and Inconel 718 powders, thus reducing any need for spacers, thread assemblies or other support structures. This ensures the tightest manufacturing tolerances possible combined with the lightest, smallest and efficient devices available to the market.

Bert’s inconel suppressors retain their strength at red hot temperatures in extreme firing schedules and are as strong as standard stainless steel at room temperatures. This suits the defence sector which has a high rate of fire. On the other hand, titanium suppressors are exceptionally light and ideal for hunters, police and sport shooters.

Oceania Defence’s testing covers full decibel analysis and structural integrity from extended full-auto firing and extreme ranges of temperature change.

Quote from Bert Wilson, Managing Director, Oceania Defence

"RAM3D is an excellent company to work with and can provide guidance on the "metal printing" process whether it is a prototype or large-scale manufacturing"

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Some examples of our work for the Defence industry