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  1. #1

    Print steel, aluminium or carbonfiber parts

    Hi there,

    i am new to 3d printing and want to know if the technology already allows us to print stuff in aluminium, carbon fiber or steel.
    i have this idea to print 3d car body parts but in a very different and cool way.

    any advice is welcome.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yes the technology for all three exists.

    metal printing is very bloody expensive.
    Comes in a variety of flavours - including add ons for existing cnc machines - every single one: very bloody expensive.

    Carbon fibre, fibreglass, kevlar etc mark forge make t every clever machine that does all that - but fairly small print area. https://markforged.com/

    As far as making cars go - well that's been done as well.
    the BAAM prints car sized objects: http://www.e-ci.com/baam/

    And if you've come up with something these guys haven't already thought of - then there's probably money in it :-) https://localmotors.com/3d-printed-car/

    so advice would be - do some research. Even google will turn up a huge amount of stuff should you be bothered to type 3d printed cars into the search box :-)
    Or 3d print metal, or 3d print carbon fibre.

  3. #3
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    Mercedes already uses 3d printing to fill orders on replacement parts, that way they don't need to keep any of the tooling on hand for older models. I think they primarily do this in their truck segment.

    https://3dprint.com/142207/mercedes-benz-trucks-parts/

  4. #4
    Thank you for the quick response.
    My idea is still not being implemented so I still have a shot at this.
    The thing is that I have no idea how to ask someone to actually print it for me without stealing the whole concept. And at this point, Im not going to buy my own printer.
    Any thought on that?

    Do you have any experience with d printing of carbon fibre?

  5. #5
    Engineer-in-Training ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Follow ralphzoontjens On Twitter Add ralphzoontjens on Facebook Add ralphzoontjens on Shapeways Add ralphzoontjens on Thingiverse
    The Markforged continuous fiber prints are very strong so can be used structurally.

    As for confidentiality an NDA will cover you.

    In case you want to go the expensive route and use online services like Shapeways, they also guarantee confidentiality:

    You, as a designer, retain all your intellectual property rights in your 3D design, including without limitation any and derivative works like 3D renders. Except for the rights and licenses specified below, Shapeways shall not use, modify or display your 3D design or derivatives thereof

  6. #6
    Nice.
    Thanks for the quick response.
    I am Dutch as well btw.
    Heb je misschien een emailadres zodat ik je wat meer kan vragen?

    Het ziet ernaar uit dat je kennis hebt in dit veld en het zou fijn zijn om in het NLs te praten met iemand

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    there are currently two methods of printing with carbon fibre.

    You can buy cheap (ish) filament for ordinary fdm machines that is usually pla with carbon fibres mixed in.
    It's not true carbon fibre but it does produce stiffer and stronger prints than standard pla.

    And the mark forge method. They embed continuous (proper) carbon fibre in a nylon substrate giving a an incredibly strong and rigid carbon fibre composite.
    Getting someone with a mark forge to print your part would be your best bet.

  8. #8
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    If you want a part that works, plan on spending more printing it than the price of a new car.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    unless you use the mark forge - their parts are amazing. Yes I've handled them.

    Bob, don't discount things just because you have no experience of them :-)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
    If you want a part that works, plan on spending more printing it than the price of a new car.
    A part that works made with which process?

    Because like I said, Mercedes uses 3d printing for working spare parts every day. They sell tons of them, and they don't charge any more than you might expect for a Mercedes part.

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