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High performance composites possess excellent mechanical and chemical characteristics, making them applicable for various industries such as aerospace, automotive and leisure. Remouldability and high fracture toughness of thermoplastic based matrix systems led to new applications with short cycle times in production and high damage tolerance. However, the comparably high costs associated with carbon fiber composite parts to its aluminium or steel contenders, remain a constraining factor. A higher degree of freedom to optimize the part geometry and the fiber layup in combination with increased automation in manufacturing will reduce the current constraint.
3D printing, an additive manufacturing technology, is believed to deliver on those demands for manufacturing. 9T Labs’ radically new approach on 3D printing of performance composites considers all three aspects by introducing high fiber volume content (>50%) materials, ensured part quality by introducing appropriate consolidations steps and scalability through parallelization of affordable printing units.
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