Continuous Composites has introduced a novel process, known as Continuous Scaled Manufacturing (CSM) that is able to fundamentally revolutionize 3D printing. This process allows the manufacturers to rapidly 3D print and cure multiple materials at once to form complete, functional parts in real time.
Creating prototypes, the company has worked with carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass, fiber optics, and continuous copper wire materials. They used a 3D printing setup with up to 16 different material extruders.
During experimental 3D printing, the machine reaches speeds of up to 90 inches per minute. But the inventors believe they should easily be able to print at up to 1,200 inches a minute, creating functional objects of any shape and printing with fiber optics and continuous strands of conductive material that are capable of carrying high current.
Ken Tyler, an inventor and founder of Continuous Composites, revealed that by combining continuous fibers and rapidly cured proprietary thermoset resins, users are able to print exponentially faster than current industry capabilities. In addition to speed, Tyler said another benefit of CSM is how little energy the curing process takes.
Continuous Composites envisions the technology drawing interest from nearly every market that relies on composites:
Currently we are focused on aerospace and defense markets, as these industries are forward thinking with a lot of resources for R&D,” he said. “Automotive, recreational, marine, medical and construction are other large industries we see our technology having a large impact.
Companies: Continuous Composites