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3D Printer Builds Carbon Fiber, Fiber Glass Parts

The massive industrial thermoplastic reinforced woven composite 3D printer can build durable parts that should turn some heads, particularly in the aerospace and medical markets.

Last week, EnvisionTEC revealed the SLCOM1, a massive industrial thermoplastic reinforced woven composite 3D printer. It's a 10.5-feet high, 13-ft wide machine that builds carbon fiber and fiberglass parts - and the company hopes to soon add Kevlar to that list.

At RAPID 2016, the company gave me a rundown of the new patent-pending process that they call Selective Lamination Composite Object Manufacturing, and I must say that they may be one of a few answers to Z-strength issues in 3D printed parts up until now.

The SLCOM1 builds parts layer-by-layer in 0.1 mm to 1 mm layers of composite fabric that it pulls off a roll using the company's new material storage and feed concept.

The build envelope is 30" x 24" x 24" and the designs are cut out by a 30 kHz ultrasonic blade that cuts up to 20 inches per second.

According to company rep Jay Murray, the company hopes to have sample parts to customers by the end of the third quarter with delivery set for early next year.

The durability and strength will certainly interest companies looking for customizable solutions in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and consumer markets.

The sample parts were impressive, it's odd to be able to twist any of the samples on the floor of a 3D printing show without the marketing team losing their cool.

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