Continuous Fiber Manufacturing for 3D Printing High Performance Parts

3D printed in three parts with continuous glass fiber composite material.

BMX bike frame, which was designed by moi using a voxel-based optimization algorithm, and 3D printed in three parts with continuous glass fiber composite material. The algorithm was able to generate the desired solution, and the software understands how stresses, compression forces, and tension forces will be theoretically distributed, so the design was created to be the most structurally efficient.

Ultimately, using CFM technology to create the frame allowed for a weight reduction of 40% from the original steel frame. By not depositing the fibers in the back part of the frame in a parallel to plane manner, the structural solution was able to, as moi put it, “exploit the anisotropy of material.” The toolpath was also able to better distribute the load, as algorithms in the process made it possible to lower the fiber interruptions. The bike and its 3D printed frame were first presented at formnext 2017, and also traveled to Texas for the recent RAPID + TCT.

The fiber optimization algorithms used to make this prosthesis were able to achieve the desired elastic behavior, and the final design proved its resistance with a maximum load of 150 kg.

This case study also illustrated that it’s possible to combine traditional manufacturing with moi’s digital technology: a glass fiber optimized 3D printed core made it unnecessary to use an expensive mold.

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