Understanding Carbon Fiber for 3D-Printing

Published by , October 5, 2018 12:40 pm

(RDMag) The additive manufacturing space has greatly expanded, with several AM printers offering the ability to print in carbon fiber. Not all carbon fiber 3D printers are created equal — some machines use microscopic chopped fibers to enhance conventional thermoplastics, while others uses continuous fiber laid inside of a base thermoplastic matrix (often filled with chopped fibers) to create a “skeleton” inside the part.
It is best to be mindful of the composites you are purchasing and the applications each fiber has opened up. Unless it specifies that it’s continuous carbon fiber, the material is almost certainly comprised of chopped carbon fiber reinforced filament. While both provide value independent, having the ability to print with both is the best way to cover all your application needs.