Continuous Composites’ CF3D process is said to leverage the power of composite materials with a 3D printing process.
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho—Continuous Composites recently opened a 7,500-square-foot facility that demonstrates its Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D®) technology at the largest scale to date, the company said in a release. The new facility in Coeur d’Alene is for research, development, and additive manufacturing, and is reported to increase the company’s previous build volume by 25 times.
According to the release, Continuous Composites owns the earliest patents granted for Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D®). The process is reported to leverage the power of composite materials with a 3D printing process to reduce the high cost, long lead times, and design constraints of traditional manufacturing. It elevates the use of composites by bringing tailorable, snap-curing thermoset materials to new applications, the company said.
Continuous Composites has built relationships and partnerships with multiple industry leaders over the last five years to bring its CF3D technology to commercialization. Today, these partners are intricately involved in the technology ecosystem that the company is generating.
Siemens, a technological pioneer, is said to empower CF3D with its Sinumerik 840D CNC system and Run MyRobot/Direct Control platform to achieve high-accuracy, multi-axis robotic control for automated manufacturing with CF3D. Arkema’s Sartomer business, a developer of photocurable resins, is developing a library of N3xtDimension® thermosetting resins with Continuous Composites. These resins, part of the 3D Printing Solutions by Arkema platform, are tailored for CF3D’s novel printing technique and customer-specific applications to enable industrial adoption of CF3D technology, according to the release.
“As an industry leader in automation, Siemens is excited to be sitting side-by-side with Arkema to support Continuous Composites’ development,” said Tim Bell, additive manufacturing business manager for Siemens Industry, Inc., in the release. “We recognize Continuous Composites has brought together prominent industry players to be successful in commercializing this technology.”
“Sartomer is excited to support Continuous Composites with their technology ecosystem and partners as CF3D accelerates towards commercialization with our leading materials sciences,” said Sumeet Jain, senior director of 3D printing worldwide at Arkema, in the release. “We are tailoring advanced liquid resin solutions for CF3D to introduce a variety of high-end applications, and we believe there is a strong market opportunity for this technology and our innovative materials.”
Continuous Composites is also partnering with Comau and Güdel. Comau, an industrial automation company, provides Continuous Composites with flexible and automated systems in robot kinematics and motion controls, leveraging its six-axis robotic arm for CF3D. Güdel, a manufacturer of high-precision machine components, is teaming with Continuous Composites to scale CF3D technology with the aid of its TrackMotion Floor 50-foot linear rail for accuracy, efficiency, and rigidity.
The companies are coming together to develop “real customer applications,” including advancing CF3D for the Air Force Research Laboratory, according to the release.
Tyler Alvarado, CEO of Continuous Composites, said the partnerships were “mutually selected” by the companies, and will help CF3D technology “rapidly scale to the next phase of its capabilities.”
“Our new facility allows us essential access to research and development that is completely in stride with a powerhouse team of strategic partners and customers,” Alvarado said in the release.
Continuous Composites (www.continuouscomposites.com), established in 2015, is headquartered in Coeur D’Alene.