Spatial partners with Continuous Composites to enhance 3D printing

Tuesday May 7, 2019 0 comments Tags: Broomfield, Spatial Corp., Continuous Composites, Omar-Pierre Soubra, Tyler Alvarado

BROOMFIELD -- Spatial Corp., a leading provider of 3D software development toolkits for design, manufacturing, and engineering solutions and a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, announced a strategic partnership with Continuous Composites, a pioneer in the area of continuous-fiber 3D printing using a moldless, out-of-autoclave (OoA) composite manufacturing process.

Idaho-based Continuous Composites is using Spatial’s SKDs in the development of this process.Spatial_logoUSE

Composite materials are far superior to metals from a strength-to-weight ratio. However, they are typically only found in high-end applications due to the cost of traditional composite manufacturing processes.

Continuous Composites’ revolutionary continuous-fiber 3D printing (CF3D™) process uses an industrial robot to print with dry fibers, impregnated with resin in situ, removing the need for expensive molds and capital equipment such as autoclaves and ovens.

Continuous Composites’ CF3D process starts with high-performance continuous fibers such as aerospace-grade carbon fiber, glass fiber, or Kevlar. During the printing process, the fiber is impregnated with a rapid-curing thermoset resin inside the print head rather than using costly prepreg fibers (fiber material pre-impregnated with resin).

An industrial robot controlled by Continuous Composites’ CF3D software creates the needed print head motion while the impregnated fiber is pulled through the print head. The wet fiber is then cured using a high-intensity energy source (e.g. UV, heat, etc.), instantaneously resulting in a true 3D composite part.

“Our CF3D process enables true 3D printing, moving beyond the traditional stacking of 2D layers to create the final product. As a result, we needed innovative software to drive our patented CF3D process,” said Tyler Alvarado, CEO of Continuous Composites.

“Spatial’s CGM Core Modeler provides us not only with a powerful geometric modeling kernel for our software, but also access to quick and efficient geometric operations needed for generating the complex toolpaths needed for CF3D.

“In addition to the CGM Core Modeler, we are excited about the possibilities CGM Polyhedra brings to our workflow. The power of polygonal and B-rep modeling can now be combined to enable workflow innovation never before possible.”

The partnership also provides Continuous Composites access to 3D InterOp, the industry-leading 3D CAD data translation software development toolkit. Spatial’s 3D InterOp enables Continuous Composites to import 3D data in all the major 3D data exchange formats into their CF3D software.

“Continuous Composites receiving the JEC Innovation Award for 3D printing at JEC World 2019 is recognition of the disruptive nature of this groundbreaking technology in manufacturing,” said Omar-Pierre Soubra, Spatial’s director of marketing and communications.

“We are pleased to have our 3D modeling SDKs selected to power this revolutionary process.”