Photo: UltiMaker

To get the most out of your 3D printer, you need to match the material you use to the requirements of your application. This is especially true when creating high performance parts such as carbon fiber. In this post, we'll explore the practical applications of 3D printed carbon fiber composites across multiple categories to explore how this unique material drives efficiency and precision in everything from welding to robotic automation.

Carbon fiber 3D printing in action

The following are four example applications that are well served by the unique properties offered by carbon fiber:

Improving welding processes with custom fixtures

Photo: UltiMaker

In the field of welding, precision and accuracy are paramount. Custom fixtures, specially designed to hold the parts together before the welding process, play a crucial role. These fixtures must be robust and heat resistant given the high temperatures associated with welding.

One of the advantages of carbon fiber 3D printing is that it is possible to create custom bodies that meet these exacting requirements. The high heat deformation temperature and hardness of the new UltiMaker PET CF after annealing, in particular, makes it ideal for the task. The ability to design these fixtures in CAD and print them directly reduces labor time and provides a close-tolerance fit, improving the overall efficiency and quality of the welding process.

Bending fixtures for versatile metal shapingnor t

Press brakes are important tools used with a hydraulic press to shape and form metal parts. Depending on job specifics or facility requirements, these parts may need frequent customization. Traditional manufacturing methods can be time consuming and expensive for such cases.

Photo: UltiMaker

With 3D printing technology, you can create custom bending dies quickly and efficiently. Carbon fiber composites stand out as the material of choice here, thanks to their exceptional stiffness. This means the part can hold its shape under greater pressure than many other polymers, ensuring the mold maintains its intended shape and producing accurate, high quality metal parts.

Robotic automation with tooling at the end of the arm

Photo: UltiMaker

In the field of manufacturing automation, robotic arms are invaluable tools for performing repetitive tasks with extreme precision. The tools at the end of these arms, known as "end contractors," can vary greatly depending on the application, from grippers to welding torches.

The ability to 3D print these end effectors with carbon fiber composites represents a game-changing opportunity. The lightweight nature of the carbon fiber composite reduces the overall weight of the robotic arm, increasing its useful capacity, speed and maneuverability. This not only increases productivity, but also extends the life of the robotic arm by reducing wear and tear.

Ensure precision with alignment tools

Photo: UltiMaker

Alignment tools or gauges are used in manufacturing and assembly processes for quick and precise measurements. These tools must be rigid to ensure that they will not bend or compress during measurements, which can lead to inaccuracies and inconsistent assemblies.

Carbon fiber composites, with their inherent stiffness, are an excellent choice for these tools. The ability to 3D print these tools means you can customize them for any specific measurement requirement, ensuring your manufacturing process is as accurate and efficient as possible.

For more information on carbon fiber printing, including guidance on how you can save time and money, contact us - the team at 3MG Bonev Ltd.


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