3D printed honeycomb material.
It is a hybrid material made of glass fiber or carbon fiber laid up on a 3D printed honeycomb structure. What makes the strength of the material is actually the printing material. It is what I call PYCABS: a mix of ballistic grade Polycarbonate and ABS.
The result is a bullet proof material that is both very stiff and shock absorbing.
I am quite proud of this as it is the first time that I come up with something as original and high performance as this. As far as I am aware of, this is unique in the industry.
The advantages of this material are the following:
- 3D printing allows for extremely complex shapes to be created.
- The resulting composite structure is light, stiff and shock absorbing.
- The full digital production chain enables a fitting tolerance of 0.2 mm.
- The production time is short, and material cost reasonable.
The limitations are the fact that the part size cannot be bigger than the printing bed. In my case: 20 cm by 30 cm.
Here is a video of an AD Diamond door structure printing:
An example of a fairly complex door structure designed by CAD:
And the printed result. The glass fiber layup is on the other side of the door and makes the part quite white:
The door attaches to the main strut with CAD designed clips that conform to both the strut shape and match the door reinforcements. The full digital process allows for a fitting tolerance of 02 mm.
I am finishing the Diamond doors kit with this technique first, then I will carry on to the Scorpion, Super Scorpion and Phoenix
The materials used on the pictures above is PYCABS. I am also working on other materials like:
Carbon fiber reinforced ABS
Carbon fiber reinforced PLA
Carbon fiber reinforced PYCABS
New formulated NOVALAC resin based filament ( NEFCAR )
All these materials are more difficult to print and subject to nozzle clogging ( except for the last one ) but will provide amazing results.
Also for information, the university of Harvard is working on a similar project with slightly different techniques but fairly similar results.
Have a look here:
The honeycomb pattern is controlled and viewed in 3D before printing. A layer-by-layer view of every part is generated for this purpose.
On the picture above, one can see the first two layers ( in blue ) being offset from the next ones ( in red ) to improve gluing performance of the part.I am also working with mathematicians whohave implemented new 3D honeycomb generation patterns. These exhibit compressibility resistance in 3 directions instead of 1 direction for classical nomex/ paper honeycomb.
The algorithm used can be tweaked to generate a larger thickness ondulation and thus create 3D honeycomb cells exactly similar on x, y and z axis.