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New 3D Printer Can Print With Carbon Fiber 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the harder-better-faster-stronger dept.
cold fjord sends this news from Popular Mechanics: "[M]aking custom racecar parts out of carbon fiber is daunting. The only real method available is CNC machining, an expensive and difficult process that requires laying pieces by hand. To improve the process, [Gregory Mark] looked to 3D printing. But nothing on the market could print the material, and no available materials could print pieces strong enough for his purposes. So Mark devised his own solution: the MarkForged Mark One, the world's first carbon fiber 3D printer. Mark debuted his Boston area-based startup MarkForged at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego with a working prototype. The Mark One can print in carbon fiber, fiberglass, nylon and PLA (a thermoplastic). ... The main advantage of the Mark One: It can print parts 20 times stiffer and five times stronger than ABS, according to the company. It even has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than CNC-machined aluminum. ... Mark says that he imagines this machine is for anybody who wants to print in a material as strong as aluminum. Beyond racecars, it could be useful to industries like prosthetics."
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New 3D Printer Can Print With Carbon Fiber

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  • i don't get it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:07PM (#46096373)

    It isn't going to have the strength of carbon fibre done properly so its useless for the types of applications where that strength matters and it isn't going to have the distinctive CF look so its useless for aesthetic applications.

  • Re:Er... what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NoKaOi (1415755) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:47PM (#46096593)

    "The only real method available is CNC machining, an expensive and difficult process that requires laying pieces by hand."

    CNC means Computer Numerical Controlled, which isn't remotely similar to laying out sheets of resin-bonded carbon fiber by hand. Or are they forming blocks of fiber made out of a lot of bonded sheets, and then CNC-milling them into shapes? That seems like a pointless waste. Very confusing sentence, there.

    There are two ways carbon fiber is generally done...you can CNC a part (usually out of foam, sometimes wood) and then wrap it in carbon fiber, or for repeatability you can CNC a mold and hand lay the carbon fiber in that. Yes, the sentence was poorly written for the layperson, but if you've worked with composites before you'd know what it means.

  • Re:Er... what? (Score:4, Informative)

    by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:52PM (#46096647) Journal

    If you read TFS he says specifically "CNC-machined aluminum"

  • Re:i don't get it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:59PM (#46096687)

    I've had hands-on experience with a 1x RepRap that was shoddily built, 1x RepRap that was well-built, and one older MakerBot.
    All most definitely could produce things with the strength to properly do a garlic press, cherry pit remover, or door hook... though the RepRap would make something that LOOKS rubbish, it would most definitely have the strength.

  • Re:Uggh (Score:5, Informative)

    by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @10:18PM (#46096775) Journal

    Unless this layers carbon fibers + resin + hardener making the epoxy bond immediately

    Actually it does. Check out the video on the website:

  • Re:Er... what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wagnerrp (1305589) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:24AM (#46097307)

    3D printed metal? Uh, how does that work?

    The same way 3D printed plastic works, additive welding, either through traditional welding from a feed spool, or powder sintering.

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