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Graphite Additive Manufacturing’s stereolithography (SLA) process produces 3D printed mandrels suitable for manufacturing complex composite parts.
It has traditionally been difficult to provide high quality interior surfaces of traditional complex components made using aerospace and motorsport-grade autoclave-cured carbon fibre prepreg composites. Solutions have included moulding in two halves and bonding afterwards, dissolvable cores, soft inflatable bladders, and low-definition printed filament tooling. However, these processes have problems with leaks, questionable internal face control and consolidation of the finished composite part, or excessive, costly mandrel preparation.
The benefits of Graphite Additive Manufacturing’s SLA process are said to include:
A high-flow intake pipe forming a visual and high-performance under-bonnet upgrade to a special edition model from a high-end automotive OEM has been produced. Graphite reports than an exceptionally smooth internal surface for improved airflow even with the challenging geometry was achieved with its mandrel technology. Excellent material consolidation and overall part quality means there is no risk of boost-pressure leaks and no external finishing required. SLA technology helped produce a premium component with low weight, high strength and stiffness and was cost-effective for the relatively low volumes required.
Image provided by Graphite Additive Manufacturing
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