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Fortify and DSM partner to develop high-performance composite materials for 3D printing of structural parts

Fortify, a Boston-based advanced manufacturing company, and DSM, a global purpose-led, science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, will partner to develop high performance composite materials for 3D printing of structural parts.

The partnership brings together Fortify’s Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) platform and fiber processing expertise with DSM’s application knowledge in 3D printing resin and formulation development.

Together they will develop high-performance composite materials to be distributed through Fortify hardware. Bringing strong mechanical and temperature properties to 3D printed parts, the materials are suited for a wide variety of applications in numerous markets: automotive, aerospace, electronics, rapid tooling, and jigs and fixtures.

Fortify’s expertise and know-how on hardware and fiber-processing will bring immediate increases in the mechanical properties of DSM’s resin by leveraging DCM. In addition, Fortify and the DCM platform will become a distribution channel for DSM’s 3D printing materials.

Most 3D printing platforms are closed, limiting the use of resins to those that are produced by the 3D printer company itself. With The Fortify Fiber Platform, Fortify is inviting the world’s best materials suppliers to develop high-performance resins in conjunction with Fortify material scientists and engineers. Partners can properly harness the power of composites without having to build out the in-house expertise that Fortify provides.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

I don't get how people think we are going to make mass-market items like cars with 3D printers.  It takes hours or days to build up a large piece by printing, whereas car body panels can be stamped and painted and assembled at a rate of several to dozens a minute.  Making vehicles by printing would be similarly time-consuming and expensive as yesterday's hand-built top sports cars.

bman

I cant agree EP. The footprint of the printer is not much bigger than the object being made so there are many. Very little human intervention is needed. Modifications and new designs are quickly and cheaply implemented.

A great way of using some of the CNTs being electrolytic produced from CO2 ala prof. Licht.

Strong light and wont rust.Lovely.

Engineer-Poet

A printer is a very complex and expensive machine compared to a press and a set of dies, and produces at a vastly lower rate per machine.  Stamped assemblies produced by the millions are going to be much cheaper than things produced by methods in which each one can be sui generis.  When you add in requirements for things like crash testing, you have to produce large volumes of very similar units anyway.  Are you willing to print 5 vehicles so you can crash-test 4 and keep one to drive?  Could anyone but the most wealthy people even afford to?

There are uses for 3-D printing.  Large components of mass-market vehicles aren't one of them.

bman

Thanks for the reply EP. Yes a printer is a complex and expensive machine but so is a press and dies(and the heated steel).
The NUMMI plant is said to have a floor area of 5.5m sq ft enough for 50,000 car sized beds. Now you wont use that many , but you might have a few thousand of various sizes(making wheels/doors ,whatever).
The "printers" might be the ones using light to catalyze the composite, faster and a fair finish.
They would be cheaper when made in the thousands(perhaps many thousands).

And you save a couple of tons of co2 for every ton of steel not used.

Engineer-Poet
a printer is a complex and expensive machine but so is a press and dies(and the heated steel).

bman, have you ever seen a stamping plant in operation?  I worked inside one for a while.  The press took continuous roll steel (cold) and stamped and cut it into housings and doors ready for paint with a cycle time of about 4 seconds.

You'd be lucky to print a major auto body part in 4 HOURS.  You'd need literally thousands of times more printers than stamp presses to get the same production rate.  Further, the press requires only hydraulic pressure and the stamping dies are plain steel; a 3-D printer is a very fussy machine with multi-axis actuators and complex print heads.

I remember the industry press when Saturn was getting going.  There was a lot of concern about the production rate of plastic parts and whether the process could be made cheap enough to be profitable.  Well... Saturn is now history.  And you think a vastly slower and more expensive process is the way to go?  Whatever you're smoking, it must be good.  Tell me what it is so I can be sure to stay away from it.

you save a couple of tons of co2 for every ton of steel not used.

And emit how much for all of the fibers and resins and stuff you'd use instead?  Also, 3-D printed stuff is not terribly strong compared to metal.  That means more weight, bulk and emissions both in production and use.

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