What Is Carbon Fibre?
With composite printing growing in recent years, carbon fibres are becoming a popular material to be used. They offer a cheaper, lighter material to other 3D printing substances.
Carbon fibres, in particular, are basically strung-together carbon atoms that fit around 5-10 microns in diameter. This material is commonly found in automotive, aerospace, construction and military sectors, as they are being used as reinforcement materials.
It is very flexible, with a strength of 540 MPa flexural strength. While it isn’t perfect, it’s a sturdy and cost-effective option that is great for printing out 3D models.
There are two ways you can print out carbon fibre. One, you can use chopper fibres to strengthen the composites. And two, you can use Continuous Carbon Fibres (CFF) to make the filaments become stronger.
Possible Challenges You Might Encounter
As we mentioned, while carbon fibres are largely helpful, they are also very new and therefore pose several challenges upon usage. When you decide on carbon fibre as your material for 3D printing, bear in mind these obstacles and try to find a way to work around them.
Requires Specialised Tools
When you are printing your carbon fibre with CCF, you will need specialised tools such as nozzles and fibre-cutting systems. One solution to this would be to use plastic filaments reinforced with short carbon fibres.
Even with a general-purpose 3D printer, it will work wonders. You won’t have to spend extra just to get a 3D printer specialising in rolling out carbon fibres.
Clogging May Occur
Another issue that you might encounter would be the clogging of your 3D printer’s nozzles. Fibres are quite fickle, and when they are misaligned, the filament becomes a thick, molten consistency. This tends to get stuck in the nozzle quite often.
An easy solution would be to use hardened steel nozzles so that it doesn’t clog as much. Not only that, but they are very resistant to harsh material found in carbon fibre.
The Surface Finish Might Be Affected
And finally, the surface finish of your printed product might be affected. Because carbon fibres are made of rigorous material, there is a possibility that you will encounter a rough surface finish.
One solution for this would be to make use of the recent innovations in ultrasound or plasma-laser-based techniques that make the surface profile of your 3D models much smoother.
3D printing using carbon fibre is the latest innovation in the composite printing scene. It is perhaps one of the best innovations to date, allowing our composite models to become cheaper and more durable. Although there are still some problems faced when creating it, there are easy fixes you can do to prevent it from going wrong.
If you’re looking for a 3D printing service bureau that uses carbon fibre, look no further than 3D Quick Printing. We take requests to be queued and completed for immediate delivery. Our high-quality printing is available all across the UK. Contact us now to learn more!