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SLS Carbon Bracket
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SLS Carbon Duct
Experienced supplier of 3D-printed parts an rapid prototypes Graphite Additive Manufacturing has announced that its specialist carbon fibre reinforced plastic material is now available to all customers.
Graphite has announced it is now in a 'unique position' to provide its customers with carbon fibre reinforced sintered parts - once the reserve of Formula One racing teams - and is the only service bureau in the UK market with a dedicated machine to run these highly advanced sintering materials.
Carbon fibre reinforced plastic in parts built with Graphite's expertise provides the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio and strength-to-weight ratio of any 3D-printed plastic available on the market today, the company claims.
Since the development of the carbon-reinforced SLS materials market ten years ago, these products have been the materials of choice for Formula One on-car applications, not just because of the speed of production of the 3D-printed parts, which allows them to progress quickly from a design to the racetrack giving them a competitive advantage, but also the fact they combine the enhanced mechanical properties of low-density, high-stiffness and sustainable accuracy at high temperatures. An "ideal fit for F1".
Within the Formula One industry, wings, ducts and brake caps are now routinely manufactured using Carbon SLS.
Replacing a traditional carbon composite part with Carbon SLS can reap even greater benefits when the part design is optimised for additive manufacturing. By expoiting the freedom in design offered by 3D printing, components can be built more efficiently by integrating features and functionality such as cooling channels, bores, threads and cores.
Without the constraints of conventional machining, finite element analysis and optimisation can be utilised to precisely locate where the stresses are in a required component. It is then possible to employ the minimum volume of material required to withstand such loads in the design of that component. This results in a part geometry that puts material only where it is needed and not as a result of any physical or financial constrictions of the part manufacturing process. Coupled with Graphite's ability to build bespoke, one-off components using their SLS systems, the uses of this process and material combination are almost limitless.