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Impossible-Objects Shows Its CBAM System for 3D Printed Composites

After a long incubation, Impossible-Objects finally showed the first system based on its new composite additive manufacturing technology (CBAM). The 3D printer uses a process different from any other current AM technologies and makes functional, fiber-reinforced parts at production speeds scaling to minutes or seconds. CBAM works with the widest range of materials, such as fiber fabrics including carbon, glass and Kevlar, and polymers including polyamides and PEEK. Its goal is to replace conventional manufacturing techniques while offering greater geometric complexity.

Impossible Objects is science-driven company pioneering advancements in the additive manufacturing and composites manufacturing industries. Based on years of research and development, its composite-based additive manufacturing technology (CBAM) is an entirely new process that is fundamentally different from conventional additive manufacturing technologies.

CBAM is designed specifically for composites. It produces parts stronger than other additive manufacturing technologies, faster than traditional composite methods and with more design freedom, and has a broader selection of materials, including carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass. However this is only the beginning: the company’s longer term goal is to produce the world’s strongest additively manufactured composite parts, rivaling hand layup materials, at injection molding speeds.

In Impossible-Objects radically new approach to composite additive manufacturing, the system takes sheets of chopped carbon fiber, selectively applies a liquid to it then applies thermoplastic powder to the liquid. The powder sticks only to those parts of the composite sheet where the liquid has been applied. The process is repeated until the 3D part is complete, then heat is applied to melt and bind the thermoplastic matrix (which can by nylon or even PEEK) and the excess carbon fiber materials is removed in a post processing phase. The result is extremely strong composite parts: Impossible Objects is planning to start delivering beta systems this year.

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