The high costs of manufacturing and fabricating carbon fiber graphite fiber made it difficult for the industries to reach it. Consequently, the composites industry was desperately trying to come up with some technology that can bring the price down. The industry is working on different technologies right now, and one of them is the 3D printing. For now, two ways are used to print from carbon fiber; continuous carbon fiber printing, and chopped carbon fiber printing.
For this process two separate print heads are used; carbon fiber thread passes through one print head while the melted thermoplastic is forced into the second one. At the point of output, both combine into a single print stream. This print stream is then laid out layer by layer in order to print the chosen part. This is the new realm of customization altogether. Imagine the level of customization; printing can allow if any part is required to be extra strong for a particular application it can be built in that way without increasing the cost for that part.
Carbon fiber is actually a group of aligned carbon strands. Each strand possesses a high strength-to-weight ratio which makes carbon fiber reinforced material strong and better but lightweight than aluminum and steel. Chopped carbon fiber manufacturer chopped these strands of carbon fiber thread into tiny pieces and these tiny pieces are used in 3D printing.
The chopped carbon fiber is combined with a thermoplastic material, and the mixture is fed through the printer head. It is then laid down to create the desired part. The thermoplastic material is used because it can be heated and melted which is a necessary requirement for 3D printers.
This technology is very beneficial for the chopped carbon fiber manufacturer as it increases the demand for their product. The final product of chopped carbon fiber printing is a carbon reinforced plastic (more or less). It is considered durable and stronger than the alternative materials available in the market. However, it is not still not as strong as it has the potential due to the tiny pieces of fiber used.
When something durable is required continuous carbon fiber printing is the solution. Although it is also a carbon reinforced plastic, the material is more rigid because the process is carried out by a continuous thread of carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber graphite fiber is a very reliable material, and it has the ability to replace aluminum and steel almost entirely. However, this could only be possible with the lower production costs. The 3D printing is a step towards the future anticipated by several industrialists. It is by far considered as one of the best solutions to cut the ridiculously high manufacturing costs.