Thermwood tests 3D printed carbon fibre-filled PPS panels without coatings

Thermwood has taken a major step toward its goal of 3D printing autoclave capable tooling from high temperature carbon fibre filled thermoplastic materials.

The manufacturing company 3D printed 50% carbon fibre-filled PPS panels on its LSAM additive manufacturing machine, maintaining the part’s vacuum to an industry-standard level, without coatings. Testing of the part was conducted by the Fleet Readiness Center, located at MCAS Cherry Point, NC, under a previously announced Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) partnership. The results met FRC-East acceptance criterion that the bag must not lose than more than 2 in Hg over five minutes.

As an added benefit, Thermwood believes it will soon be capable of producing moulds and tooling that function properly under vacuum in a heated, pressurized autoclave, also without the use of any type of coating to seal the printed tools.

Previously, other unaffiliated companies have tested actual tools printed by Thermwood from 20% Carbon Fibre-filled ABS and have also found that those tools held vacuum to an acceptable level without the use of any sealer or coating; however, the ABS material is not suitable for high temperature applications.

Yet, several parts have been made from those tools under vacuum at room temperature and at slightly elevated temperatures. Thermwood has also already printed a 50% Carbon Fibre-filled three dimensional PPS mould which has not yet been tested. Thermwood’s goal is to produce moulds that will be used in a production autoclave, moulding finished parts suitable for actual end use.

Thermwood’s additive printing process differs fundamentally from conventional Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) printing. Most FDM processes print parts by melting and extruding a relatively small bead of thermoplastic material onto a heated build plating that is contained within a heated chamber. The heated chamber keeps the extruded material from cooling too much before the next layer is added.

Thermwood machines print a large bead at such a high rate that a heated environment is not needed. It is basically an exercise in controlled cooling. Print speed is adjusted so that each layer cools to the proper temperature just as the next layer starts to print resulting in a continuous printing process that produces high quality parts. Thermwood believes this fundamentally different approach produces superior parts.

One other feature that Thermwood engineers believe helps produce solid, void free parts, is a patent pending compression roller that follows directly behind the print nozzle, flattening the bead while fusing it tightly to the previous layer.

U2's With or Without You cover performed with entirely 3D printed violin

Mar 6, 2016 | By Kira

French musician and 3DVarius creator Laurent Bernadac is back with a brand new music video featuring his one-of-a-kind 3D printed electric violin. This time, he’s used his unique instrument and multifaceted musical talent to cover U2’s unforgettable With or Without You, from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree.

Bernadac’s 3DVarius was created using precise SLA 3D printing technology and designed with Bernadac’s strict expectations as a professional and classically trained musician. While the shape was inspired by the traditional Stradivarius violin, its entirely modern construction gave it a complex and futuristic aesthetic, paired with stunning sound quality. The result is a technically advanced, one-of-a-kind 3D printed instrument that looks just as good as it sounds.

Previously, Bernadac used his 3D printed violin to cover the X-Files theme song, as a tribute to the cult-classic TV show’s revival. This time, he’s gone for a tune with much broader appeal: U2’s With or Without You. This classic rock love song has been listed on Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, and is one of the bands most covered songs ever.

While the original 1987 U2 music video is dark and moody, Bernadac’s latest clip was shot in a wide-open field under sunny skies. The filmmakers even used an airborne drone for some of the shots, which managed to capture some great overhead and birds-eye-view footage of the outdoor space. Géraldine Puel, who collaborated on the 3DVarius’ design and has produced Bernadac’s previous videos, is listed as the video’s producer.

Replacing Bono’s vocals and The Edge’s famed guitar riffs, Bernadac has once again assumed the role of one-man-band, using his 3D printed violin, a cajon drum, and some impressive audio layering to capture a dynamic range of sounds. To see the stunning 3D printed 3DVarius in action, check out Laurent Bernadac’s video below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlguEe94gNY]

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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