In response to the growing use of composites across industries, Stratasys is now shipping an affordably priced additive manufacturing system dedicated for carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12.
The Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition is an industrial quality system that is being offered at $70,000 in the US.
Recently composite material has seen a year-over-year market growth between 8 to 12 percent. Carbon fiber composite applications and carbon fiber reinforced polymers are considered clean energy technologies by the U.S. Department of Energy because they enable “light-weighting,” which reduces energy consumption. It’s estimated that each ten percent reduction in vehicle mass drives a six to eight percent increase in fuel economy.
Stratasys was one of the first to offer a carbon fiber filled composite for additive, but it previously offered the material only on high-end production 3D printers in the $200K-$350K range.
For both its IndyCar and NASCAR race cars, Team Penske uses FDM to produce prototypes and end-use parts from carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12 composite material. The team recently used the composite to produce a mirror housing for its NASCAR race teams. After designing the mirror housing, engineers then customized the design for each of their Cup Series drivers before building the final parts from the composite via FDM. The carbon-fiber-based material enabled Team Penske to produce lightweight mirror housings with high impact resistance and high stiffness, each of which is critical in motorsports. The composite’s stiffness is especially beneficial when making thin-walled parts, so the parts won’t flex under the aerodynamic loads produced on track.
27 August 2018