AUG 2018


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NEWS 15 3D-printed Continuous-fiber TPCs that Arevo's printhead does integrate compaction capabil- ity and parts conform to conventional composites quality requirements. "We can achieve thermoplastic composite parts with a void content much less than 1%," he claims. Arevo's credits its advances in large part to a significant investment in its in-house digital design and process soft- ware. "We've collapsed an entire workflow into the soft- ware," says Miller. "It can provide a complete 3D analysis of the part and develop the optimized fiber orientation, using additive FEA [AFEA] modules. We run the computer- generated design through our process simulation software and it shows the process parameters, including tempera- tures, print path, warpage and shrinkage of the printed material, as well as residual stresses. This allows us to understand and optimize the process in order to produce very high-quality parts." Manufactured parts are reportedly within 5% of simulated properties. Arevo has demonstrated its capabilities in work with design firm StudioWest Concepts LLC (Longmont, CO, US) developing what it calls a "cantilever fiber frame," for what it claims will be marketed as the world's first 3D-printed bicycle (see photo). "We ended up with a very unique design," says Miller, using continuous 12K carbon fiber tow and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) thermoplastic resin. Arevo, however, has not limited itself to bike frame production. Mondesir also points to high-stress impeller and propeller applications. Both the bike frame and impel- ler applications take advantage of Arevo's ability to print along a 3D curve. This year, Arevo says it will install eight DED manufac- turing cells to address its production parts backlog. The company also is working with strategic customers on key applications and product development. "Our third major focus is to continue refining the deposi- tion process to increase speed while maintaining quality and yield," he notes. "We will also demonstrate parts with different fibers and tow sizes." He says the DED process can handle variable tow shape and diameter up to 24K tow, and it's practically unlimited in terms of thermoplastic matrix and fiber combinations. "We can print with PEKK, PAEK, PPS and also with continuous glass and aramid fiber." "There really is no limit to what size we can print," Miller adds. "We are making a 2.5m-by-1.5m part for an aerospace company and are also looking at using multiple robots together." The company's DED manufacturing cells are of modular design and, therefore, capable of integrating and performing secondary operations, such as finishing for high- quality surfaces. Miller says Arevo's technology also is easily integrated into existing or new processes. "Arevo is not in the printer business," Miller sums up, "but this adaptability opens some opportunities." Those might include, eventually, marketing its software to its customers, thus enabling them to design products and visualize their construction on a virtual 3D Printer, that will ensure the part is already well-adapted for Arevo's production line. And should Arevo's DED production capabilities attract global attention? Arevo's not adverse to selling the actual printing system (see, for example, this recent Arevo coverage at | ® INNOVATIONS WITH IMPACT Materia CAMX Theater Presentations: Oct 16, 10:30 am – 10:55 am Pushing the boundaries with Proxima® thermoset norbornene polymer technology for composites Oct 16, 3:00 pm – 3:25 pm Advantages of using Proxima® High Temperature Insulation Resins for subsea applications Oct 17, 10:30 am – 10:55 am Achieving performance and cost advantages Downhole using Proxima® polymer technology ® Tough Thermoset Resins CAMX Booth CC13

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