Iso-grid composite structures are often used in space applications given their low weight and high strength. The manufacturing approach to these structures has always been labor, tooling, and material intensive, resulting in costly components and protracted lead times. Utilizing an additive manufacturing approach to produce continuous carbon fiber iso-grid structures designers can now reduce lead times and production costs as well as improve component performance. With a robotic system to additively manufacture open and skinned iso-grid structures designers can now eliminate the need for fixed tooling and molds for both small or large structures. The ability to steer individual fibers in the structure also allows for the incorporation of fasteners and connection points directly into the structure, without having to disrupt the continuous fiber. Case studies of how to design continuous fiber iso-grid structures and test results of additively manufactured components will be presented.
Continuous Composites Inc, based in Coeur d’Alene, ID, is the developer of the CF3D Enterprise™, a disruptive additive manufacturing system for composite production.
- Upon completion participant will be able to describe how additive manufacturing significantly bolsters composites strength and reduces the need for manual tooling, while also reducing cost, specifically in aerospace applications.
- Upon completion, participant will be able to describe how a robotic system can additively manufacture open and skinned iso-grid structures, eliminating the need for fixed tooling and molds.