Individualised Production of Thermoplastic Composite Parts – Combining Additive Manufacturing and Thermoforming
C. Hopmann, M. Hildebrandt
RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany
H. Janssen, Fraunhofer IPT, Aachen, Germany
C. Beste, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany
D. Werner, Fraunhofer IPT, Aachen, Germany
The manufacturing of functionalised thermoplastic composite parts (TPC) is most often done in a backmoulding process. However, especially for the production of individualised parts with high variability or the production of small 3lot sizes this production process shows disadvantages due to the cost-intensive mould technology. Using an innovative processing route, combining additive manufactured structures (ribs, fastening elements, mounting devices) and continuous fibre reinforced TPC sheets, the BMBF funded project LightFlex offers an economic solution. Therein, a combined forming and joining process was setup in which a laser scanning system melts the surface of the 3d-structure. After the preheating of the structure a molten TPC sheet is formed onto the structure using a one-sided diaphragm based forming process. By using a cost-effective supporting structure the mould costs can be reduced significantly and thus, part development process can be accelerated and new areas of applications for TPC parts can be opened up.
ITHEC 2016 Manuscript D3
Publication date: 01/10/2016
Manuscript D3 published in Conference Proceedings ITHEC 2016
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