Fibre Reinforced 3D Printing
First post here, I was looking through an article last night on 3D printed parts and spent this morning thinking on how integrating in a carbon fiber weave would improve on the strength and utility of the finished product. Of course I’m a little late to the party here since that very thing has been already been developed, and on the market place.
A brief and non-technical description: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a10025/new-3d-printer-by-markforged-can-print-with-carbon-fiber-16428727/
It looks like there is a lot of interest and experience with 3D printing in this community, so I thought I’d share for general discussion. Seems like this would open up some interesting possibilities as the finished product strength is comparable to aluminum. Anyone have any experience with this?
I have a sample printed with Carbon Fiber PLA and its certainly pretty stiff. You definitely want to make sure that you’re using a stainless steel nozzle when printing with CF. Printing even 250 grams will totally ruin a brass nozzle.
E3D (a popular hotend manufacturer) did some analysis: http://makezine.com/2015/09/11/carbon-fiber-filament-ruins-nozzles/ which jives with some tests a friend of mine did.
CF isn’t for everything though. It makes things stiffer, but also more brittle. It really depends on how the forces are acting on the finished object. My friend did a bunch of parts for a 3D printer he was building in CF ABS, and eventually went back to straight ABS due to the brittleness issues and getting cracking in the parts.
I think this printer generates a significantly different end product. It lays down a continuous fiber (Carbon, Fiberglas, Kevla) that is embedded in the nylon material - that can be optimized in a chosen direction - rather than chopped fibers like in CF PLA. The nylon on it’s own appears quite flexible.
This video has a more detailed presentation.
Very expensive but looks like a pretty fantastic tool.