World’s largest 3D metal printer unveiled in Melbourne
The Melbourne-based startup, Titomic, has revealed what they claim is the world’s largest 3D metal printer in Australia’s southern coastal city.
The 3D printer will be used with titanium to produce items such as bike frames, golf clubs, and ship hulls.
Titomic listed it’s shares at 20¢ (US$0.15) in September last year, which has raised to $2.80 (US$2.10) earlier this month.
However, rather than using melted titanium through a spray as most 3D printers would, the technology will use kinetic fusion to create the layers.
Powder particles of titanium will be thrown together at speeds of approximately 1km a second, with particles hitting each other at such forced they solidify together.
If functional, kinetic fusion printing would be more time efficient than traditional additive manufacturing, whilst also being able to print products on larger scales.
However, the printer is yet to be proven effective Director of RMIT’s Centre for Additive Manufcaturing, Professor Milan Brant, explains.
“There are lots of challenges. If you’re talking about structural applications, there has to be significant work done to prove this technology is capable of delivering the same performance as conventionally machined product,” Brant notes.
“What happens between individual layers? Do you get good enough bonding – are the parts 100 per cent dense? That will effect components subject to fatigue.”
“The physics of it are still not quite clear, to be honest,” he adds.
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.