Large-scale patterns and moulds are expensive, slow to produce, and complex shapes may not be feasible. Typical CNC milling of patterns wastes material and design iterations are expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, Additive Manufacturing can play a huge role in producing high-quality carbon fibre parts while reducing costs and lead times. BigRep machines deliver cost-saving solutions to produce large-scale carbon fibre moulds.
There are two methods of creating these moulds. First you could 3D print the mould. If the part design still needs iterations, or the part is intended for small batch production, or the carbon fibre prepreg requires lower temperature / pressure resistance, then 3D printing the mold is recommended.
The mould is 3D-printed and post-processed to required surface quality. If needed, it can be designed with inlets to pour in reinforcement filler so the mould can withstand pressure in the autoclave. Carbon fibre prepreg is laid into the mould, placed in a vacuum bag, and cured in an autoclave at the required temperature and pressure settings.
The second option or method is to 3D print the pattern. This is recommended if the part design is finalized, and is intended for series production, or the carbon fibre prepreg requires higher temperature / pressure resistance.
The pattern is 3D-printed and post-processed to required surface quality. Then a mould is produced from the pattern, typically using glass fibre or high temperature epoxy moulding paste. Carbon fibre prepreg is laid into the mould, placed in a vacuum bag, and cured in an autoclave at the required temperature and pressure settings.
If you want to talk to the team about BigRep, drop us an email on Prajakta.firstname.lastname@example.org for more personalised discussions.