Whilst MarkForged broke new ground with the initially 3D printing device capable of fabricating composite materials, enabling users to reinforce nylon parts with carbon fiber to create new geometries never preceding possible with traditional carbon fiber layup innovation. The Massachusetts-based startup, yet, is not the just one hoping to revolutionize the way we manufacture composites. Impossible Objects has its own take on printing with materials like carbon fiber. We’ve covered the Chicago firm in the past, when they attained $2.8 million in funding, but, now, the company has been additional open of their composite-based additive making (CBAM) system, going into greater more detail of how it works.
Unlike MarkForged’s innovation, which feeds strands of continuous carbon fiber into a specialty printhead to be laid down alongside FFF nylon, Impossible Objects uses a technique which approximately looks like a combination of the Selective Deposition Lamination innovation of Mcor and inkjet 3D printing. A combination of additive and subtractive making, the system sees plastic inkjetted onto sheets of fabric – such as silk, polyester, Kevlar, cotton or carbon fiber – into the desired shape. The shapes are and so cut out and stacked atop one another, preceding they are baked in an oven and fused together. So, prints are sandblasted clean, removing excess material and announcing the final part.
At the moment, Impossible Objects is at the prototyping stage. The system is not yet at the speed or scale which the company is aiming for. And, yet extrusion systemes may contribute advantages in terms of possible geometries, the Wall Street Journal points out which for the reason there exist enormously large-scale inkjet printing devices, the innovation may be scaled up to create substantially-sized vehicle parts. This, of course, may have a massive impact on the auto industry, which relies heavily on carbon fiber to create sturdy, lightweight parts.
Both MakerForged and Impossible Objects contribute a completely new take on 3D printing functional objects which meet the standards of significant industrial applications. With the benefits of 3D printing composite parts having the future to replace injection molding, I wonder if those two firms won’t be the just ones trying to do so.