3D printing of composites: Key players gather to showcase advancements

Dr Richard Collins
3D printing of composites: Key players gather to showcase advancements
3D printing of composites is perceived as a crucial future iteration for many forms of 3D printing. With this in mind, the annual IDTechEx Show, taking place on 14-15 Nov in Santa Clara, CA, will host a dedicated session for this class of materials. www.IDTechEx.com/USA
This technology can be diverse and make use of a wide variety of materials. Not only can this propel 3D printing into significant fields, but it will also provide new opportunities for the more mature composite industry through improved design freedom, waste reduction, and time-to-market.
The improved performance is evident, a printed CFRP part has achieved a tensile strength exceeding 1300 MPa, and this technology has already seen some significant projects undertaken including a fully 3D printed car and parts being prepared for space flight. The IDTechEx Show! 2018 will feature talks given from many of the companies pioneering this technology including:
  • Markforged are one of the main players in 3D printing with continuous and chopped carbon fibers and will give a presentation on the technology that they claim makes them "ahead of the competition".
  • Arevo will present on "A revolution in composite manufacturing" through digital additive manufacturing. This will include a case study on the world first 3D printed carbon fiber bike frame
  • Impossible Objects are presenting on their unique process called Composite-Based Additive Manufacturing (CBAM), which can allow for the mix-and-match of a wide range of fiber and matrix types.
  • Continuous Composites have developed a Continuous Fiber 3D printing (CF3D) process and will present on this technology with embedded sensors and structural fibers enabling structural health monitoring and generative design.
The additive utilised can be diverse with the most explored being chopped or continuous synthetic fibers for structural gains. However, the materials have even extended to nanocarbon or nichrome for a wide range of enhanced functions. Presentations will be given to highlight the variation in these material feedstocks including:
  • Vartega on the recycling and utilisation of carbon fiber for sustainable printing.
  • Studio Michiel Van der Kley on the use of concrete for a bridge construction in Project EGG.
The 3D Printing conference (part of the IDTechEx Show!) extends beyond this topic and also includes sessions on metals, polymers, electronics, and medical applications with speakers including: BASF, BigRep America, Ultimaker, Dassault Systems, Carpenter Technology, and many more.
Markforged (top left), Impossible Objects (top middle), Arevo (top right), Continuous Composites (bottom left), Vartega (bottom middle), and Project EGG (bottom right).
This conference co-locates the key areas on emerging technologies in one place and attendees have access to all the tracks including energy storage, graphene, printed electronics, sensors, IoT, electric vehicles, and wearable technology. A full agenda can be seen online - www.IDTechEx.com/USA
In addition, conference attendees will have access to the exhibition floor where over 270 companies showcase a range of technologies. Analyst led masterclasses are also available on the 13 and 16 of November.
For more information on these presentations and to see the latest delegate discounts, please visit: www.3DPrintingUSA.tech External Link or www.ElectricVehiclesUSA.tech External Link
Top image: Arevo