The two companies plan to provide “manufacturing-as-a-service” for the on-demand production of ultra-strong, lightweight 3D-printed composite parts for the Japanese market.
This service is based on AREVO’s “Aqua” platform, the world’s first industrial-grade continuous fiber 3D printing system capable of printing parts of up to one meter cubic volume.
With breakthrough innovations in software, robotics, and materials science, AREVO is uniquely qualified to offer this innovative MaaS platform, as the company has unlocked the true potential of carbon fiber to provide composite parts with unprecedented low cost, true “production scale” for 3D-printed goods and reduced design cycles for a wide range of consumer and industrial products.
The Aqua Printer uses a patented laser-based DED – direct energy deposition – in-situ consolidation process.
This closed loop process with machine learning algorithms is the world’s most advanced thermoplastic composite deposition technology.
This process has been validated with the highest mechanical properties and lowest voids, or “gaps”, within the finished product – as measured by the total volume – as compared to any other 3D printing technology.
Composite parts are printed using high performance composite material with a PEEK (polyetheretherketone) thermoplastic polymer matrix and aerospace grade carbon fiber.
This material meets stringent FST – Fire, Smoke, Toxicity – requirements for aerospace and defense applications. Further, PEEK offers outstanding resistance to harsh chemicals, excellent mechanical strength and dimensional stability.
A critical advantage for AREVO and the company’s customers lies in the industry’s first, fully integrated composite tool chain to accelerate the process from concept to production of the composite parts.
This software features:
- Composite generative design with optimum fiber orientation
- Mechanical performance prediction and optimization
- Virtual 3D printer visualization of the print process
- Monitoring process data during the print process for automated quality control
The technology meets the most rigorous manufacturing specifications of the aerospace industry – for primary structures such as wing and fuselage components, engine components such as cascade and interior parts such as cabin seat frames and partitions.
AREVO also provides a cost-effective solution for consumer products such as sporting goods and in other areas of transportation.
For instance, the company has made great strides recently in the bicycle manufacturing industry with two major customer wins in 2019 and endorsements from leading designers in the Netherlands and the US.
Hemant Bheda, co-founder and chairman of AREVO, says: “This is a landmark achievement in the ongoing evolution of manufacturing and the Industry 4.0 movement.
“We are all working towards super-efficient and sustainable processes with localized on-demand manufacturing.
“We look forward to working with AGC to scale our MaaS platform in many industrial sectors.”