3D printing developers are definitely thinking outside of the box. Here’s another example. EnvisionTEC introduced its SLCOM 1, an industrial composite 3D printer. It uses a patent pending process known as Selective Lamination Composite Object Manufacturing. It is targeted at applications with “demanding mechanical and environmental properties can only be delivered from woven composites,” said Al Siblani, CEO of EnvisionTEC. Such applications include aerospace, automotive, consumer products, sporting goods, and potential applications in medical.
SLCOM technology builds composite parts using layer-by-layer laminated thermoplastic composite fabric sheets from a roll. It can build parts to the following maximum dimensions: 24 in. x 30 in. with a 24 in. height.
The SLCOM 1 can process a range of custom made thermoplastic reinforced unidirectional or multidirectional woven fibers tailored to customer performance needs. Some of the composite matrix materials include woven glass fiber, woven carbon fiber, or other woven aramid fibers reinforced with a choice of Nylon 6, Nylon 11, Nylon 12, Peek, Pekk, Polycarbonate, and others. The composites can be tailored for exceptional toughness, environmental resistance, vibration dampening, low flammability characteristics, high wear resistance and high strength to weight ratio.