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From plywood to aircraft wings, composites can be found throughout modern society and are increasingly being used in place of traditional materials like wood and metal.
For millennia, humans have been combining different materials to create something that is more durable, flexible and capable than their constituent parts.
Composite manufacturing dates back to ancient brick-making when straw was added to wet clay or mud to accelerate the drying time and provide a stronger finished brick. Metal reinforcement bars in concrete structures perform much the same function. Concrete, the second most used material in the world after water, is itself a composite of loose stones and cement.
The primary reason for making composites is enhanced strength, as in the examples above, but it’s not the only one. For instance, a composite material may be less expensive, lighter, water and heat-resistant, more rigid, electrically conductive or a combination.
Modern composites have been designed to fulfill a specific need and are routinely used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, defence, marine, medical devices and sports equipment.
Common examples include engineered wood, carbon fiber, fiberglass, fibre-reinforced plastics and advanced ceramics. The list of composites is constantly growing as researchers experiment with different material combinations and develop new varieties, processes and applications.
On 3DEXPERIENCE Make, we offer composite manufacturing options across multiple processes such as 3D printing, CNC machining, Laser cutting and Injection molding. 3DEXPERIENCE Make is an On-Demand Manufacturing platform, which connects designers or engineers with industrial service providers. Our service providers are mostly based in North America (United States and Canada) and in Europe (United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany etc...).
Thanks to our powerful algorithm, you can get quotes in seconds for your composite project from dozens of manufacturing providers.
and many more...
FDM, SLS, MJF, BJ, SLA...
Laser cutting, Water cutting, Blade
Milling, turning & spark machining
Sheet Metal, Extrusion, Forming, Stamping
Check & repair or Geometry check is a feature that helps you to understand Geometry issue of your part and could repair it live and online.
Check & repair or Geometry check is a feature that helps you to detect geometry issue on your part and repair it online and live.
This feature is available only for 3D Printing service. It helps you check the manufacturability of your part, depending on the materials and the process.
Receive in seconds several quotes thanks to our instant quote engine.
Composites can be classified based on the reinforcement material or by the surrounding matrix. Examples include:
Common composites include:
Plywood is classified as an engineered or manufactured wood, the same family as medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and particle board (or chipboard). Plywood is available in various grades and strengths depending on the wood species used to manufacture it.
Fiberglass is usually a more cost-effective and flexible alternative to the fiber-reinforced composite, carbon fiber. It is also stronger than many metals, non-magnetic and can be molded into complex shapes. It is sometimes referred to as Glass-Reinforced Plastic (GRP), Glass-Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP), or GFK (from German: Glasfaserverstärkter Kunststoff).
Carbon fiber is sometimes called graphite-reinforced polymer or graphite fiber-reinforced polymer. Other names include carbon (Fiber) reinforced Plastic or Carbon Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP) or simply carbon composite.
3D printing, sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, covers a number of different processes and techniques. All involve a material being deposited in multiple thin layers to create a shape.
The entire process is computer-controlled, which makes 3D printing a cost-effective and efficient method to create objects of almost any shape or size. Increasingly, the technique is being employed to produce everything from models and proof of concepts to finished objects.
Using plastic material, 3D printing can be traced back to the 1980s, whereas composite 3D printing arrived much more recently.
There are currently only a handful of processes involved with 3D printing composites:
Several 3D printer manufacturers have developed their own printable composite materials:
Aluminium, Nickel, Stainless, Steel, Titanium, etc...
ABS, POM(Acetal/Deltin), PEEK, PTFE, HDPE, PEI, PC, PP, etc...
Wax support, UV Curvable, etc...