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Future of Composites Manufacturing: Addcomposites' Plug&Play AFP, Filament Winding & SCF3D Printing

The AFP Systems

Addcomposites offers a range of Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) systems, each with unique characteristics and benefits designed to meet the varying needs of research centers, composite manufacturers, and technical centers. Here's a breakdown of their versatile AFP systems: AFP-XS, AFP-X, and SCF3D.

AFP-XS (Single-tow Automated Fiber Placement)



The AFP-XS is the introductory and most modular AFP system from Addcomposites. It's an ideal starting point for those venturing into advanced structural additive manufacturing:

  • Modular system: This system is highly adaptable, making it suitable for a wide variety of applications.

  • Versatile material handling: The AFP-XS supports experimentation with different widths and types of materials, offering flexibility for innovation.

  • Ideal for larger surfaces: Manufacturers can cover larger surfaces without sacrificing the ability to layup on more complex shapes.

  • Preferred by researchers: The system is a favorite among technical centers and researchers due to its versatility and modularity​1​.

AFP-X (Multi-tow Automated Fiber Placement)



The AFP-X is a production-class AFP multi-tow system designed for achieving a higher production rate for complex parts:



  • Increased material carrying capacity: The AFP-X carries up to 4x more material than the AFP-XS.

  • Continuous production: This system is highly beneficial in production environments that require continuous operation.

  • Versatile material compatibility: It works well with both thermoplastic or thermoset materials.

  • Enhanced productivity: With all the benefits of the AFP-XS and additional capacity, the AFP-X is designed for higher productivity​2​.

SCF3D (Structural Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing)



The SCF3D is Addcomposites' response to the increasing demand for continuous fiber additive manufacturing. It's designed to quickly create and print high-quality, structural components:



  • Continuous fiber reinforcement: The SCF3D system incorporates continuous fibers throughout the printing process, eliminating the need for additional reinforcement steps.

  • High-quality prints: This system is designed to deliver high-quality, structural components.

  • Complementary to AFP systems: The SCF3D may be used in combination with any of Addcomposites' AFP systems for added localized strength​3​.

The Filament Winding System

Addcomposites offers a versatile and robust Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) system, the AFP-XS. It is the most modular AFP system offered by Addcomposites, making it an ideal tool for anyone looking to venture into advanced structural additive manufacturing. It is a preferred system among technical centers and researchers due to its flexibility in working with different widths and types of material, and manufacturers appreciate its ability to cover larger surfaces without sacrificing the ability to layup on more complex shapes​1​.

Tape Winding and Filament Winding Capabilities

The AFP-XS system extends its capabilities to tape winding and filament winding. This flexibility makes it possible to create a variety of components, from hydrogen tanks and booms to tubes and fittings.

Versatility in Material Compatibility

One of the key advantages of the AFP-XS system is its ability to work with a wide range of materials. It can handle Dry fiber, Thermoset, and Thermoplastic materials, providing a significant degree of freedom for research and development, and for production strategies​2​.

Applications

The AFP-XS system's versatility, combined with its advanced capabilities, opens up a wide range of potential applications. It can be used in research centers and technical centers for the development of new materials and production strategies. It also serves as a powerful tool for composite manufacturers for the production of complex parts.

Aerospace - Engine fan blades using AFP-XS

Engine fan blades using Automated fiber placement
Engine fan blades using Automated fiber placement
  • Problem: The aerospace industry requires high-performance parts that can withstand extreme conditions. Traditional manufacturing methods may not deliver the required precision and quality.

  • Challenge: Manufacturing a more efficient, durable, and lightweight engine fan for aircraft engines.

  • Solution: AFP-XS, with its ability to process thermoset composites, provides an excellent solution for manufacturing engine fans. The thermoset composites are ideal for this application because they can withstand high speeds and extreme temperatures. The in-process inspection feature of AFP-XS ensures that any defects in the layup can be detected online, contributing to the superior quality and reliability of the engine fan.

Automotive - Electric motor rotor sleeve with thermoplastic composites with AFP-XS

Electric motor rotor sleeve with thermoplastic composites
Electric motor rotor sleeve with thermoplastic composites
  • Problem: Electric motor rotor sleeves require high electrical and thermal resistance, a challenge for traditional manufacturing methods.

  • Challenge: Creating an electric motor rotor sleeve that can handle high temperatures and electric currents.

  • Solution: AFP-XS is used to manufacture the rotor sleeve with thermoplastic composites. Its ability to handle thermoplastic composites, known for their high electrical and thermal resistance, makes it ideal for this application. The result is a rotor sleeve that enhances the efficiency and durability of electric motors.

Construction - 3D printed bridge reinforced with AFP-XS thermoplastic placement

3D printed bridge reinforced with AFP-XS thermoplastic placement
3D printed bridge reinforced with AFP-XS thermoplastic placement
  • Problem: The construction of bridges needs to be robust and durable, but traditional methods can be slow and resource-intensive.

  • Challenge: Creating a durable and quickly constructed bridge with 3D printing technology.

  • Solution: AFP-XS, with its ability to work interchangeably with 3D printing robots, provides a unique solution. A bridge can be 3D printed and then reinforced with thermoplastic composites placed by AFP-XS. This combined approach leads to a more efficient construction process and a stronger, longer-lasting structure.

Wind Energy - Manufacturing composite wind turbine blades with AFP-XS

  • Problem: Wind turbine blades need to be extremely robust and resistant to wear and tear, but conventional manufacturing methods may not provide the necessary strength and longevity.

  • Challenge: Producing durable, high-performance wind turbine blades.

  • Solution: AFP-XS is used to manufacture composite wind turbine blades. Its ability to handle a variety of composites is key in this application. The in-process inspection feature ensures that any defects in the layup are detected online, leading to the production of stronger, lighter, and more durable blades. This increases the lifespan of the turbine and reduces maintenance costs.

Sporting Goods - Manufacturing of longboards with AFP-XS using sustainable bio-based composites materials

Manufacturing of longboards with AFP-XS using sustainable bio-based composites materials
Manufacturing of longboards with AFP-XS using sustainable bio-based composites materials
  • Problem: Traditional methods for manufacturing longboards can be inefficient and may not meet the demand for environmentally friendly products.

  • Challenge: Creating a durable, high-performance longboard using sustainable materials.

  • Solution: AFP-XS is used to manufacture longboards with bio-based composite materials. Its ability to handle such composites and its in-process inspection feature ensures the production of strong, durable, and environmentally friendly longboards.

Marine - Manufacturing of offshore racing boat components with AFP-XS

Manufacturing of offshore racing boat components with AFP-XS
Manufacturing of offshore racing boat components with AFP-XS
  • Problem: Offshore racing boats require components that are lightweight, strong, and resistant to harsh marine conditions, but traditional manufacturing methods may fall short.

  • Challenge: Building reliable, high-performance components for offshore racing boats.

  • Solution: AFP-XS, with its ability to handle a variety of composites and function as a winder, is used to manufacture boat components. The resulting parts are lighter and stronger, capable of withstanding harsh marine environments. This improves the performance and durability of the boats. The in-process inspection capability of AFP-XS allows any defects in the layup to be detected online, ensuring superior product quality.

What's Next!

Discover the future of composite manufacturing with Addcomposites! Here's how you can get involved:

  1. Stay Informed: Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates, news, and developments in AFP systems and services. Knowledge is power, and by staying informed, you'll always have the upper hand. Subscribe Now

  2. Experience Our Technology: Try our cutting-edge simulation software for a firsthand experience of the versatility and capability of our AFP systems. You'll see how our technology can transform your production line. Try Simulation

  3. Join the Collaboration: Engage with us and other technical centers across various industries. By joining this collaborative platform, you'll get to share ideas, innovate, and influence the future of AFP. Join Collaboration

  4. Get Hands-On: Avail our educational rentals for university projects or semester-long programs. Experience how our AFP systems bring about a revolution in composite manufacturing and leverage this opportunity for academic and research pursuits. Request for Educational Rental

  5. Take the Next Step: Request a quotation for our AFP systems. Whether you're interested in the AFP-XS, AFP-X, or SCF3D, we are committed to offering cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs. Take the plunge and prepare your production line for the next generation of composite manufacturing. Request Quotation

At Addcomposites, we are dedicated to revolutionizing composite manufacturing. Our AFP systems and comprehensive support services are waiting for you to harness. So, don't wait – get started on your journey to the future of manufacturing today!


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