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Additive Manufacturing of Polymers

In the previous article, we presented the basic advantages of 3D printing (additive manufacturing) and emphasized that each component is manufactured layer by layer by solidifying the material. In this article, we will take a closer look at different additive manufacturing processes for polymers . There are various ways of classifying the many different processes. For our purposes, we separate them according to the aggregate state of the raw material . We will focus on the best-known and most common processes and therefore we will focus on the processes for manufacturing components from liquid and solid polymers . Solidifying liquid [...]

Additive Manufacturing: 3D printing

Hello and welcome back to our article series about composite manufacturing, where we try to introduce you to the fundamentals and the complex specificities of designing, programming, and manufacturing CFRP components. While last year’s articles focused on Fiber Placement and prepreg composite materials, we will now introduce you to another set of additive manufacturing processes. We will compare different 3D printing methods , explain what slicing is, why it is necessary and why it can be a complex process, and ultimately showcase some applications where we combine the benefits of fiber placement with the benefits of 3D printing . [...]

Neuerungen im Förderprogramm go-digital ab 2022

Ende Dezember 2021 wurde eine neue Richtlinie für das Förderprogramm „go-digital“ durch das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWi) veröffentlicht. Das Förderprogramm soll kleine und mittlere Unternehmen (KMU) im Bereich der Digitalisierung unterstützen, da diese häufig aufgrund fehlender personeller, organisatorischer und finanzieller Ressourcen im Bereich der Digitalisierung benachteiligt sind. Dieser Blog fasst die Neuerungen in go-digital für Sie zusammen: Neue Fördermodule Das neue Modul „Digitalisierungsstrategie“ fördert KMU bei der Entwicklung einer umfassenden individuellen Digitalisierungsstrategie. Damit werden die Grundlagen für eine erfolgreiche Digitalisierung gelegt. Das neue Modul „Datenkompetenz“ („go-data“) fördert KMU bei der aktiven Beteiligung an der sich entwickelnden Datenökonomie. [...]

Curvature based orientation

In the previous articles, we established a strong link between the complexity of the layup surface of CFRP components, their design requirements, and the effects on the prepreg tapes that are placed onto them. We talked about angular and positional deviations, steering, and how the topology of the surfaces relates to them. The more complex (= curved) the surface is, the harder it is to maintain straight tapes as they need to be bent to follow the curvature of the surface. In this article, we built an example 3D geometry that is curved in multiple directions. We then created two [...]

Design Requirements

Our previous article highlighted the increased complexity of placing prepregs on curved “3D” surfaces. We will now show you how these complexities are reflected in requirements and how they are measured and verified. Depending on the part that is manufactured, certain “design requirements” need to be met. Design requirements define, among other things, how strict manufacturing tolerances are. For CFRP parts made from unidirectional prepreg tapes, these tolerances come in the form of the following questions: What is the maximum width of a gap between 2 stripes? What is the maximum width of a gap between 2 courses? How large [...]

2D vs. 3D

The “flat” laminates we talked about before are not really “flat” since multiple layers of material are stacked on top of each other. Technically, there is no “flat” 2D object in the real world since every object has a thickness. Instead, the term 2D in this context refers to the number of dimensions necessary to fully define the structure of the laminate . When flat layers are stacked on top of one another, the only information necessary is the position of the stripes of each layer in a 2D environment (x and y coordinates). The only additional information necessary is [...]

Digital Twins

In this week’s article, we will be talking about the tape laying machine of Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH and how its digital twins helps reduce resources and energy. We talked about its basic functionality in the first article , now we will look at what the Digital Twin of the tape laying machine looks like inside the CAM software CAESA® Composites TapeStation . © SWMS Systemtechnik Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH Figure 1: A screen capture of a layup process using NMBs tape laying machine as simulated by the TapeStation. On the left-hand side, a 3D model of the tape-laying machine is displayed. [...]

Variable Cutting Angles

This week’s article will be about a very specialized functionality for AFP processes that is used to reduce material waste, aka “offcut” . Instead of cutting the material tapes into rectangular pieces, an angled cut is realized by rotatable cutting units . Depending on the ply angle and underlying contour, an algorithm determines the shape of the tape in such a way that they cover parts of the laminate contour more effectively, meaning that the offcut of each respective tape is minimized. There is however one constraint to this approach. Since the material is fed from a continuous supply of [...]

Advanced Pick and Place Processes

In the next 3 articles, we will showcase a research project that ran until October 2020. “OptiTape” focused on creating a digital twin of Neue Materialien Bayreuth's (NMB) tape laying machine (figure 1). The digital twin is a digital replicate of the real tape laying machine that is used to numerically optimize the structure of the laminates that will then be manufactured on the real machine. In the title image, you can see the real machine and the digital twin side-by-side. One of the main project goals was the implementation of an algorithm that holistically optimizes the production cost of [...]