AREVO, a Silicon Valley company specializing in composite 3D printing, has enlisted AGC, Inc. as a strategic business partner in Japan. Through the collaboration, AGC will provide manufacturing-as-a-service (MaaS) to Japanese customers for the on-demand production of lightweight, 3D printed composite parts. The new service will leverage AREVO’s Aqua platform, an industrial continuous fiber 3D printing system with a build volume of up to one cubic meter.
The Aqua 3D printing system developed by AREVO is based on the company’s patented laser-based directed energy deposition (DED) in-situ consolidation process—one of the most sophisticated thermoplastic composite deposition technologies on the market. The closed loop process combines robotics and software to produce composite parts rapidly and at an affordable cost. The Aqua 3D printer reportedly also boasts the “highest mechanical properties and lowest voids…within the finished product” compared to other 3D printing processes.
The technology is driven by AREVO’s software platform, which has a fully integrated composite tool chain. With the advanced software, users can generate composite designs with optimal fiber orientation, predict and optimize the mechanical performance of parts, visualize the 3D printing process virtually, and monitor process data for automated quality control.
The agreement between AREVO and AGC, Inc. will see the Japanese manufacturing company (formerly known as Asahi Glass) become the first in the Asian country to install AREVO’s composite 3D printing technology and offer MaaS. Going forward, ACG’s clients will be able to benefit from AREVO’s large-format carbon fiber 3D printing for the production of various industrial and consumer products.
AREVO has demonstrated its technology’s versatility with a number of projects. Arguably the most talked about was the company’s 3D printed composite bike frame, which led to partnerships with two bicycle manufacturers: Franco Bicycles and Pilot. The Silicon Valley company has also emphasized that its AM platform can be used to print parts for the aerospace industry, including primary structures like wing and fuselage components, as well as interior parts, like cabin seat frames and partitions.
“This is a landmark achievement in the ongoing evolution of manufacturing and the Industry 4.0 movement,” said Hemant Bheda, Co-Founder and Chairman of AREVO. “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.”