Australian metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has been busy these last few months. In September, the company introduced the innovative Titomic Kinetic Fusion technology, which builds up titanium parts layer by layer with no shape or size limitations. Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) adapted the cold spray process to create this new additive manufacturing technique, which Titomic is now commercializing.

Last month, Titomic announced a new collaborative agreement with Australian mining and oil and gas engineering services company Callidus Welding Solutions, which will incorporate Kinetic Fusion technology into its workflow to get a competitive advantage in the market. Then, just last week, the company appointed leading executive and metallurgist Trent Mackenzie as the General Manager of Business Development for its Aerospace & Resources Division.

John E. Barnes

Now, Titomic has made another executive announcement: John E. Barnes, an acknowledged global expert in 3D printing, metal powders, and titanium, has been appointed by the company’s board of directors as its Non-Executive Director, effective February 1.

“John Barnes is one of additive manufacturing’s global leaders. His knowledge, expertise and adept strategic planning in the industry ensures he will be an invaluable asset as Titomic embarks on transforming design and manufacturing,” said Philip Vafiadis, Titomic’s Chairman. “The potential opportunities for application of the Titomic technology is extensive. We’re delighted that Titomic is attracting the top echelon of talent.”

Barnes has over 25 years of experience in development and aerospace, having held such prestigious positions as Senior Leader at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Program Director at CSIRO, and Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing & Strategy at Arconic (formerly Alcoa and RTI International Metals), though he got his additive manufacturing start in the late 90s, as an elected member of Honeywell’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement at Sandia National Laboratories. Barnes is recognized around the world for contributing to innovations in aerospace, medical, and therapeutic additive manufacturing, and has offered his input to industry publications like the Wohlers Report.

[Image: Titomic]

But the appointment of Barnes to Non-Executive Director isn’t the only announcement Titomic made this week – the company, which has already secured patents for the Titomic Kinetic Fusion technology in the United States, China, Japan, and New Zealand, has announced that it has been granted an Australian patent for the unique process, which will make its platform and intellectual property (IP) position even stronger.

“The granting of the Australian patent will allow further application of the Titomic Kinetic Fusion technology to enable sovereign industrial capabilities for future opportunities to export Australian design ingenuity,” said Titomic’s CEO Jeffrey Lang.

Titomic holds the exclusive rights to commercialize CSIRO’s proprietary, patented Kinetic Fusion process, which applies cold-gas dynamic spraying of titanium or titanium alloy particles onto a scaffold to produce a load-bearing structure. Applications for the process vary greatly, from global and mass market industries of aerospace and defense, construction, oil and gas, and automotive, to consumer and sporting goods, mining, marine, and medical, and industrial equipment.

George Washington signed the very first US patent back in 1790, as a way to protect Samuel Hopkins’ unique method of making potash, an ingredient in fertilizer. Just like copyrights, patents are an important way to protect the rights and IP of creators and inventors. At the fast rate 3D printing technology is advancing, it’s tough for these kinds of protections to keep up in today’s digital, open source landscape. There are many people who question how valuable patent protection is for inventions, like software, that are developed in industries with short product cycles and lower investments up front.

But, according to Scientific American, inventions are no less valuable or worthy of being protected just because they’re being invented for less money in a quicker time period. Titomic’s Australian patent will enable the company to better support sovereign industrial capabilities, and the company also has patents pending approval for Kinetic Fusion in Europe, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

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