Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby pyronaught » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:46 am

After pulling this off for the client, they were so excited to have me start churning out parts that they bought me four more M2s! So now I've got nine of them, soon to be all printing molds 24 hours a day. I'm going to have to start ordering filament by the truckload-- just one of these mold sets takes two full spools to make.
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby Jules » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:50 am

Wow! That's rather like a real job! :lol:
(Should have built more cabinets!) ;)
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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby pyronaught » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:30 am

Yeah, the worst part is sanding all these things. I coat the PLA molds with epoxy first because the epoxy just sands much easier. I'm in the process of putting a tempered glass surface on my CNC fabric cutter so I can have it do the cutting, that way I only have to wet out one large piece of carbon fiber and not have to go through the trouble of taping off squares and cutting out the pieces. Currently it takes me 45 minutes to cut, wet out, layup and press a part, but I should be able to get that down to about 25 minutes with the CNC cutter.
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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby jsc » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:01 am

Which epoxy do you use for surfacing?
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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby pyronaught » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:06 pm

It's a lamination epoxy, but any epoxy should work. I've used just sanded molds without the epoxy and that works too, it is just harder to sand PLA than it is epoxy. When using a sheet of plastic film for the mold release you really don't even have to sand them, you could just press right on the raw printed part as long as you don't mind slight line marks in the surface finish from the print layers. I'm probably going to start doing that due to how many of these I have to make and since minute blemishes in the surface finish don't matter. The release film leaves tiny wrinkles anyway and those are worse looking than the print layer lines. If you needed to make parts for show then you'd have to wax the mold and do the layup directly on it, in which case you would have to sand them down to a fine finish and buff them first.
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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby W4rM0nger » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:21 pm

Hey,

I'm a student working on creating a solar powered vehicle. We always have to find sponsors to create our molds, which works out for the bigger parts, but we also need a lot of small parts which we now print in our ultimaker. Now I'm searching how we can best produce molds ourself to also make the needed parts in carbon fiber. That way we can eliminate some unnecessary weight.
Would you be willing to share some more detailed information how to achieve such results? What settings do you use on your printer, what post processing do you exactly do on your molds,...?

Any help would be gladly accepted
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Re: Carbon Fiber Compression Mold

Postby pyronaught » Wed May 17, 2017 1:56 am

At this point the process has evolved considerably and is now a proprietary commercial process that I'm not at liberty to discuss online. It still involves a boatload of M2 printers though!
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