This newly launched 3D printer can extrude woven fiber composite parts, resulting in glass, carbon fiber, or other aramid fibers suitable for the aerospace and automotive industries as well as other high-pressure environments.
EnvisionTEC announced the SLCOM 1 3D printer, the first commercial printer to use the patent pending process known as Selective Lamination Composite Object Manufacturing to create woven materials, on Tuesday. It works by building up composite parts layer-by-layer out of laminated thermoplastic composite fabric sheets. The sheets come in a roll, and EnvisionTEC is offering a variety of different types of materials. The printer can produce objects up to 24” x 30” and 24” in height.
“This represents a paradigm shift for manufacturing, especially where demanding mechanical and environmental properties can only be delivered from woven composites,” said Al Siblani, CEO of EnvisionTEC. The company also commercialized the first DLP 3D printer on the market in 2002.
The composite matrix materials used in the SLCOM 1 are reinforced with a choice of Nylon 6, Nylon 11, Nylon 12, Peek, Pekk, Polycarbonate, or other materials. This is what gives them their strength, which can be customized depending on the material for use in parts that need characteristics such as high strength-to-weight ratio, exceptional toughness, resistance to extreme environmental conditions, vibration dampening, low flammability, and high wear resistance.
The SLCOM printer will debut at RAPID 2016, held May 17-19 in Orlando, Fla.