For more than a century, Setforge (part of the Farinia Group) has been forging and processing high-volume precision metal components for demanding industries such as automotive and aerospace. However, in order to maintain a leading position and adapt to changes in the times, the company has invested in technology that enables it to quickly and cost-effectively design and produce high-performance carbon fiber reinforced composite parts to replace steel, aluminum and titanium with significantly reduced quality. In order to promote the expansion of advanced composite materials, Setforge is an early partner of the hybrid manufacturing solution OEM 9T Labs AG (Zurich, Switzerland), and is now beginning to screen new series of parts applications that will be produced on its Red Series Additive Fusion SolutionTM platform at l' Program Homer, France.
"We chose their Red Series Additive Fusion Solution platform, which is an all-in-one solution that combines software, hardware, and support. Fibrify software allows us to design fiber-filled parts, and we can only place them where we need them. Local. And it is directly connected with commercially available structural simulation software. The combination of additive manufacturing and molding is unique. We can provide reproducible and cost-competitive structural components. 9T Labs’ expertise in composite materials helps us Determine the correct application and easily design load-customized parts. If needed, we can even place metal inserts before we densify the fibers and reduce the porosity. We finally get the finished net shape part with high fiber ratio and low porosity. The specific load carried is four times that of steel.” explains Damien Felix, Setforge's R&D project manager.
9T Labs' hybrid advanced manufacturing technology enables high-performance structural components—challenging small and medium sizes and thick sections—to be produced in carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites, with output ranging from 100 to 10,000 pieces per year. By combining 3D printing (providing unparalleled design freedom, part complexity and fiber orientation control) with compression molding in matching metal molds (providing fast cycle time, high productivity, excellent surface finish and low voids, as well as high repeatability and Reproducibility) combined (R&R)), the hybrid production system provides the best advantages of additive manufacturing and traditional/subtractive manufacturing.
"You might ask,'What is the market use that can produce near-net shape parts, because carbon fiber has a unique weight-to-performance ratio and has higher mechanical properties than other high-speed carbon fiber processes?'" Didier, Director of Setforge Didier Henry mused. "The answer is any market dominated by aluminum and titanium, or any place where large (sturdy) and lightweight parts have value. These parts can even be used to replace other composite parts that need to be improved, reduced in weight, and become stronger. ."
As 9T Labs builds its first carbon composite additive manufacturing capacity, Setforge will be able to produce up to 5,000 carbon composite parts each year, with dimensions up to 350mm x 270mm x 250mm. With the increase in production capacity in 2023 and beyond, Setforge expects to be able to produce 100,000 parts per year and expand the size of the parts.
"Through the red series, we want to propose replacing metal parts with composite materials for our current automotive or aerospace markets, but we also want to propose innovative solutions for our new markets-for example, luxury, sports, medical, and foreign Bones (wearable ergonomic lift assist system) and drones," Damian Felix said.
The company's patented Red Series Additive Fusion solution platform consists of a building block (3D printers provide fiber layup and preform production) and a Fusion module (a compact press that provides preform merging and final part forming). The Fibrify design kit from 9T Labs supports this hardware. The software allows importing CAD files, optimizing part design and fiber laying, and then transferring to major commercial structural analysis programs to verify structural performance. This eliminates the expensive and time-consuming "make and break" cycle of designing parts, producing and testing prototypes, and further modifying the design to more closely meet performance and cost goals. In turn, this helps manufacturers bring parts to market faster and at a lower cost.
9T Labs co-founder and chief commercial officer Giovanni Cavolina (Giovanni Cavolina) added: "We are proud to support a respected and innovative company like Setforge, as they start manufacturing carbon composite parts." "We started 9T Labs with enthusiasm and wanted to mass-produce high-performance composites as easily as metal. We found Setforge to be equally passionate about disruptive manufacturing of high-performance parts."
In short, the system can quickly, efficiently, consistently and cost-effectively produce structural components with a level of complexity of advanced (carbon fiber-reinforced) thermoplastic composites that has hitherto been unparalleled, from initial prototyping to mass manufacturing. Due to the use of proven industry standard materials-high-performance pure (unreinforced) and carbon fiber reinforced polyamide 12 (PA12), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyether ketone ketone (PEKK) and polyether ether ketone (PEEK) )-Lightweight, structural composite parts that can replace metals in challenging environments can be produced in an economical manner with extremely low waste, excellent purchase-to-flight ratio, and high-level R&R. Since the thermoplastic matrix can be melt-reprocessed, scrap and parts can be recycled, and multiple 3D printed subassemblies can be welded together in the fusion step.
This market research by 3dpbm Research provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the ceramic additive market.
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