Western Australia-based technology company Aurora Labs has signed a non-binding preliminary agreement with Fortescue Metals Group to work on 3D printing technology for mining.
The agreement will run for an initial 12-month period with the option of extension by mutual agreement between the two companies.
Fortescue will collaborate on Aurora’s industry partner program alongside manufacturer VEEM, risk management specialist DNV-GL and consulting firm Advisian.
Aurora — which was recently named a ‘cool vendor’ by Gartner — is a purveyor of rapid manufacturing technology (RMT), colloquially known as 3D printing.
Its products include the open-source S-Titanium Pro and recent Rapid Manufacturing Printer 1 (RMP1), which the company claims has a target volume of 300kg of metal printing per day.
The agreement with Fortescue could lead to the development of 3D printing technology that could reduce production and operational costs in the mining sector, though Aurora stressed this is not assured due to its current non-binding nature.
David Budge, Aurora Labs managing director, said the Fortescue partnership validated the high potential of 3D printing.
“Fortescue are an ideal industry partner for us and they are at the forefront of technological advancements in the mining sector,” he said.
“We are building our industry partner program with VEEM, DNV-GL, Advisian and Fortescue and it’s great to see some of Australia’s largest companies are keen to explore this technology.