The company has been showcasing its Composite Fiber Coextrusion (CFC) technology at TCT Show and Formnext this autumn in the form of its Composer desktop series. Its ProM IS 500 is a significantly larger machine than Anisoprint’s A4 and A3 Composer systems and can process higher temperature plastics.
With a build volume of 600 x 420 x 300 mm and the ability to print plastics up to 400°C, such as PEEK and PEI, and reinforce those plastics with carbon and basalt fibres, Anisoprint is targeting high-performance applications that can endure ‘aggressive’ environments. Examples of these applications include mid-sized tools, spare parts and functional prototypes for the aerospace, automotive and robotics industries. To facilitate the printing of parts like those, the ProM IS 500 is equipped with four changeable print heads, automated calibration, material and print quality controls, high-precision motion control and a heated chamber that can reach up to 160°C.
Anisoprint is working to provide manufacturers with alternatives to metal by reinforcing thermoplastics to ensure similar strength is guaranteed – Anisoprint’s reinforced materials have recorded tensile strengths up to 860MPa – while also reducing the weight of parts, thanks in some part to the lattice structures CFC enables.
More than that, Anisoprint is also wanting to ensure manufacturers think differently when replacing metal with fibre-reinforced plastics, in order to get the best out of their 3D printed components.
“Metal thinking is what engineers do with composites today,” CEO Fedor Antonov said at TCT Show in September. “They try to make this quasi isotropic thing which would work almost exactly as a metal plate would and they mill it and drill it and cut it, damaging the fibres, introducing defects inside like delamination. We believe this is the wrong way of thinking. You shouldn’t do that with composite material, you should keep fibres intact for them to work properly.”
Anisoprint will continue to champion this message as it prepares to commence shipping of its ProM IS 500 platform by the end of 2020.