Tech & Science
Composites Startup Presents Continuous Fiber Production Technology for 3D Printing High Efficiency Parts
In 2016, the acclaimed Atropos 3D printing research task on 3D printing thermosetting continuous fiber composite products was born out of a partnership in between KUKA, Owens Corning, and +Lab, which is run by Professor Marinella Levi of the Politecnico di Milano. The unique, patented technology wields photocurable constant fiber composites through a six-axis robotic arm.This past
winter season, Teacher Levi, Michele Tonizzo, and Gabriele Natale produced their own start-up, called moi composites, which they think will be, as Teacher Levi informs 3DPrint. com, “a video game altering solution for tailor-made parts for the composite market.”
The site checks out, “At moi we style, engineer and manufacture little series and tailor made items.
“At moi we forge thermosetting composite materials into high performance parts.”
The startup naturally progressed from the Atropos project as a spin-off business from the university. Moi utilizes a disruptive, exclusive innovation called Constant Fiber Production (CFM) that can 3D print high performance thermosetting composite parts that integrate digital fabrication with robotic intelligence.CFM does not utilize pricey molds, which lowers constricting formal limits, and uses smart algorithms to digitalize composite parts. The technology can manufacture complex, high efficiency shapes that would otherwise be almost impossible to create, and can develop little series and custom-made things without requiring any extra equipment, which conserves on both energy and cost. CFM also enhances the direction and position of fibers along the final 3D printed things’s principal tension axis in relation to the anticipated tensions they have to resist, which makes for an exceptional structural service that decreases waste and up to 70%of unnecessary weight.The process, which centers on thermosetting matrices with curing times shorter than one second, is customizable and scalable.
Constant fibers can be rapidly deposited, which develops products with greater working temperatures. Combining these qualities with the typical features of 3D printers makes the innovation unique, and enables the composites field to produce new solutions that weren’t possible before.The start-up is working together with many top business, consisting of Autodesk, KUKA, and Owens Corning, and has integrated Autodesk’s Netfabb Ultimate software application into its workflow.
Moi has actually also shared the outcomes of a few of the current case research studies that have actually originated from partnering with Autodesk.The first of these is a BMX bike frame, which was designed by moi utilizing a voxel-based optimization algorithm, and 3D printed in three parts with constant glass fiber composite material. The algorithm was able to produce the desired option, and the software comprehends how stresses, compression forces, and stress forces will be theoretically distributed, so the design was created to be the most structurally efficient.Ultimately, utilizing CFM innovation to create the frame enabled a weight reduction of 40 %from the initial steel frame. By not depositing the fibers in the back part of the frame in a parallel to aircraft manner, the structural solution was able to, as moi put it,” exploit the anisotropy of material.
“The toolpath was likewise able to much better disperse the load, as algorithms in the process made it possible to decrease the fiber disturbances. The bike and its 3D printed frame were first provided at formnext 2017, as well as took a trip to Texas for the current RAPID+TCT.It is possible to obtain different elastic behaviors by modifying the position and orientation of fibers to best fit the athlete’s demands.The Superior, a lower limb running prosthesis, was developed by moi throughout thesis work at+Lab.The fiber optimization algorithms utilized to make this prosthesis were able to accomplish the desired elastic habits, and the final style proved its resistance with a maximum load of 150 kg.This case study likewise illustrated that it’s possible to combine conventional production with moi’s digital innovation: a glass fiber enhanced 3D printed core made it unneeded
to utilize a costly mold.Moi’s CFM procedure was also used in a case research study concerning a skateboard, which is a best example of the kind of on-demand, individualized, high efficiency parts that moi can create with its innovative technology.CFM made it possible for the skateboard to be made stiff where the trucks lie, but versatile in
its central part. In addition, moi forecasted cavities for the skateboard’s screws, and designed a special reinforcement for the higher stresses.The topics of these last two case research studies– the prosthesis and the skateboard– were also 3D printed over night
by an autonomous robotic, which is geared up with sensing units to offer real-time feedback and utilizes Autodesk’s slicing software application platform.Now, moi has proven the scalability of its self-governing robotic procedure by including a 2nd, bigger robotic system, thanks to a collaboration with COMAU. The new system can 3D print things approximately 0.8 m x 1 x 1.2 m, and it likewise has actually enhanced printing accuracy and quality, which has “get rid of the current size restrictions of the machines.”This makes it possible to post-process parts with more standard approaches, like lamination, as soon as all of the pieces have actually been mounted together.The startup’s technology has been checked with Owens Corning’s photocurable resins and glass fibers, and all of its composites show mechanical habits consistent with predictions.
In the meantime, moi is likewise studying the best ways to apply carbon fibers throughout the procedure, along with improving its general quality with new devices and toolheads and additional sensors.Discuss this and other 3D printing subjects at 3DPrintBoard. com or share your ideas in the comments below. [Images supplied by moi]