Impossible Objects is partnering with TIGER Coatings to enable 3D printing of an expanded range of high-performance materials
NORTHBROOK, Ill.—Impossible Objects recently entered a collaboration with TIGER Coatings to develop thermoset-based 3D printed composites, materials that are valued for their high strength-to-weight ratio. The partnership between the two companies will further the use of additive manufacturing to fulfill the production needs of industries such as aerospace and automotive, Impossible Objects said in a release.
Impossible Objects’ patented composite-based additive manufacturing process (CBAM) produces 3D-printed components that offer the performance of metal but weigh substantially less, the company said. Benefits of 3D-printed thermoset composites include their ability to retain their shape at high temperatures. They also provide outstanding chemical resistance, dimensional stability, enhanced mechanical properties, and flame-retardancy.
TIGER Coatings is a global manufacturer of thermoset materials. The company’s CEO, Clemens Steiner, Ph.D., said that TIGER is “thrilled to be collaborating with Impossible Objects to unlock the potential of what was once considered an unworkable material.”
“By leveraging Impossible Objects’ CBAM technology, more industries than ever before can reap the benefits of thermoset composites through 3D printing.”
The proprietary CBAM technology is reported to produce parts up to 10 times faster than conventional 3D printing. By combining high-performance polymers like Nylon and PEEK with carbon fiber and fiberglass sheets, parts printed via the technology are stronger, lighter, and have better dimensional accuracy, according to the release. They are also said to provide better temperature performance than what’s possible with conventional 3D printing methods. Current materials include carbon fiber and fiberglass paired with PEEK, PA 6, PA 12, elastomerics, and most other thermoplastics.
“From shoes to aircraft, 3D printing will completely transform manufacturing across industries,” said Bob Swartz, founder and chairman at Impossible Objects. “Our collaboration with TIGER demonstrates the key advantages of our CBAM process, including faster speed, better material properties, and a wider range of materials, along with better dimensional accuracy.”
Impossible Objects also announced two new customers—the Rochester Institute of Technology and Thinking Robot Studios—that have purchased its CBAM-2 machines.
The Rochester Institute of Technology’s AMPrint Center will leverage the CBAM-2 to further enrich its research and development in multifunctional 3D printing. Thinking Robot Studios, a medtech company focused on solutions for orthopedic surgery, will integrate the CBAM-2 machine in its new manufacturing and imaging facility in Buffalo, New York.
Impossible Objects also said that Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research has begun initial steps in using its CBAM-2 machine to design, evaluate, characterize, and test composite aerospace parts and prototypes.