3D Printing Non-Planar Continuous Fiber Reinforced Composites
Most 3D printing processes are actually 2.5D but what does that really mean if it is a 3D printer? The conventional process of 3D printing is laying material on top of each other on a parallel plane (usually the print bed), and as layers build, it results in a three-dimensional object.
Planar Vs Non-Planar - Planar Continuous Fiber 3D Printing
In traditional 3D printers, moving parts are most often either the print bed (or table), or the print head, or both of them, such as in the Anisoprint Composer Desktop series of continuous fiber 3D printers. Even though the table and the print head move along the x, y, z axes, the layers are still stacking in the parallel plane, and each subsequent layer is parallel to the previous one.
Planar Vs Non-Planar - Continuous Fiber 3D Printing Limitations
Both FFF (plastic) and continuous fiber 3D printing have a number of limitations. Since the layers are stacked parallel to each other, it is not possible to reinforce parts in two planes at the same time and therefore, the part can only be reinforced in the same plane.
For example, in the parts pictured below, it is not possible to effectively strengthen parts using conventional 3D printers.
The second limitation is in the difficulty with printing curved shape models because the extruder is fixed to the XY plane and cannot move out of these planes so that the nozzle remains always perpendicular to the point where the material is laid out.
Continuous Fiber Non-Planar 3D Printing
There is a way for ‘’true 3D printing’’ with continuous fibers by using an Anisoprint 6-axis robot that allows reinforcing parts of any shape in different planes.
The robot includes a 6-axis robot arm and an end-effector printing with continuous fiber. The robot’s axis allow free movement in 6-axis to print complex shapes, without additional supports, molds and tools.
Design Consulting supplies the complete range of Anisoprint continuous fiber desktop and industrial 3D printer range that provides an open system to print in virtually any plastic material and re-inforce the 3D print with continuous basalt or carbon fiber.
If you would to discuss Anisoprinting, please contact us by calling on 1800 490 514, by filling out the form or clicking the live chat in the bottom right-hand corner.