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Discover how industry leading brands leverage Stratasys carbon fiber compatible, composite 3D printers to cut manufacturing lead times.
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5 Cutting-Edge Solutions Made Possible with FDM Composite 3D Printing

Rob Levesque Senior Marketing Content Manager
Robert Levesque June 22, 2023
June 22, 2023

The Latest Advancements with Stratasys Composite 3D Printing

Let’s face it – on the topic of 3D printing, the printers get most of the attention. But the truth is, material capabilities are the engine that drives 3D printing applications. Materials that meet demanding or unique conditions make it possible to recruit 3D printing for more challenging and diverse use cases. Of course, your 3D printer must be able to print those materials. But when you have both, you have a powerful tool at your disposal. 

 

Composite 3D Printing Materials

The F123CR series, comprised of the F190CR and F370CR printers, is one platform that checks both boxes, serving up capable, reliable printing and a versatile material selection. “CR” stands for “composite-ready,” which means it can print composite materials.  

 

In that regard, the F190CR and F370CR use two composite materials: ABS-CF10 and Nylon-CF10. ABS-CF10 is an ABS polymer mixed with chopped carbon fiber. Similarly, Nylon-CF10 is a nylon-based FDM filament that also employs carbon fiber. Both materials provide higher strength and rigidity compared to their non-composite polymers.

Composite Tooling Solution Guide

Learn about integrating 3D printed tooling to complement traditional metal tools by downloading our Composite 3D Printing Solution Guide.

Make the switch

Carbon Fiber and Advanced Composite 3D Printers

In addition to composite materials, these composite 3D printers use a variety of engineering-grade polymers as well as flexible thermoplastic polyurethane. Combined, they offer a versatile material suite that gives manufacturers, designers, and educational facilities powerful 3D printing capabilities to cover a wide range of applications. To top it off, the F190CR and F370CR feature plug-and-play usability, fulfilling a desire by many customers for an easy-to-use 3D printing platform.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate these capabilities is through real use cases. The following customer stories highlight how they applied FDM composite 3D printing to solve a problem.

J.W. Speaker's Innovative Use of 3D Printing in Lighting Technology

Getting to market faster means cutting time out of the manufacturing process. J.W. Speaker, maker of LED lighting for the automotive, powersports, and transport industries, did just that with a leak check fixture for a snowmobile lighting unit. Rather than machining the tool, technicians 3D printed one instead, avoiding material procurement and machining delays.  

Besides saving time, this example highlights how the right thermoplastics can be a suitable alternative to metal. Read the use case to learn how much time they saved with this application.

Gosiger - FDM Manufacturing - Use Case

Gosiger's 3D Printed & Improved Lathe Parts Catcher

As a machine tool distributor and manufacturing systems provider, Gosiger knows tools. So when it came time to modify one of its lathes with a “parts catcher” attachment, Gosiger engineers knew what to do.

The problem was that a conventional catcher-type solution bolted to the lathe wasn’t optimal, so engineers created a new design and 3D printed it instead. Check out the use case to see how the 3D printed composite solution was a better alternative.

Mercury Marine's 3D Decal Application Tooling

Outsourcing typically takes longer and costs more than doing things in-house. Mercury Marine knows that and decided to use the F370CR's material versatility to make a decal application tool for its boat engines.  

 

Engineers found a creative way to make the tools by printing a non-marring thermoplastic polyurethane overlay and reinforcing it with a rigid carbon fiber thermoplastic frame. The use case explains what they did and the savings they achieved vs. outsourcing.

Graco Composite Tool close up.png

Graco Increases Durability of Equipment Testing Tool with 3D Printing

The beauty of 3D printing is its almost limitless capability in the hands of creative users. It’s a tool that can be leveraged in many ways to solve a wide variety of problems.

In this use case, engineers at Graco were looking for a easy solution to increase the durability of a hand tool used to test equipment during production. They found it in one of the carbon fiber materials on the F370CR printer. Read the use case to see how this solution eliminated a recurring tooling problem with a simple 3D printed fix, thanks to the right material.

Improve factory floor operations with 3D printed carbon fiber tooling.

Learn more about carbon fiber 3D printing materials and how these advanced thermoplastics can help out on the factory floor in this resource guide.

Check it out

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