AdditiveCARBON – Hybridization of 3D printing with carbon fibers

  

The design freedom of 3D printing combined with the performance of carbon composites: CIKONI shows how this can be achieved with an innovative and cost-efficient lightweight technology.

 

Carbon fibers in the load direction and design freedom of 3D printing

Additive manufacturing permits almost unlimited freedom of design – a characteristic that allows innovative design methods, especially for lightweight solutions. However, the material properties are so far not comparable to the high load-bearing capacities of carbon fiber composites. CFRP plays its strengths when the load acts preferentially along the fiber direction. AdditiveCARBON allows the realization of hybrid structures by means of a combinated and fully automated manufacturing approach in which the carbon fiber reinforcement directly follows the load paths and the additive base structure serves as support for compressive loading.

Cost reduction through intelligent material pairing

So far, in additive manufacturing a larger building volume leads to higher production costs and longer production times. In typical composites production, in turn, tooling costs, inefficient material utilization and waste lead to high overall costs. AdditiveCARBON is here to eliminate the limitations of both technologies by means of a targeted hybridization: the carbon fiber reinforcement reduces the necessary building volume of the 3D printing part and the additively manufactured base structure makes a separate tool unnecessary for the robot-supported 3D-winding process. A symbiosis, which has a positive impact not least on the cost side.

Application potentials  for handling systems, medical technology and  aerospace

The approach is particularly interesting where lightweight design requirements are combined with distinct component variability. AddtiveCARBON enables higher productivity, individual prostheses and ultralight aircraft structures. To ensure that the process can also be applied in cost-sensitive areas, CIKONI engineers have also developed a modular system with hybridized injection-molded and metal components, from which larger structures can be quickly configured from modules. The holistic approach has already convinced numerous customers to rethink their view on lightweight design.

 

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