Good day, everyone! I am a materials engineer and extremely into carbon fiber – these cool things that are 5x stronger than steel, but 2 times lighter than aluminum. Carbon fibers are utilized in the industry by combining them with resinous materials (plastics) and creating a rigid composite structure. I have worked with cutting-edge technologies for the advanced manufacturing of composite materials (carbon fiber + plastic) in Silicon Valley. However, through an unfortunate series of events, I needed to return to my country in the Philippines.
To continue developing technologies for composites manufacturing, I decided to build an MPCNC to be used as a low-cost robotic system for the automated placement and controlled deposition of carbon fiber in a process called pre-forming. This step controls the orientation and position of fiber reinforcements, a parameter that is essential in composites engineering. The mechanical performance of composites is anisotropic and is heavily influenced by the orientation of the fiber within the structure. By aligning the direction of fiber reinforcement along the local stress vectors, the mechanical performance of the part fabricated is optimized.
I am using the MPCNC to create preforms, aligning fibers according to the design, prior to subsequent processing to manufacture carbon fiber-reinforced plastic composites. I know this was not the intended function of an MPCNC, but it is an interesting venture and a budget-friendly one, so why not!
Here is the MPCNC Primo Machine that we have now (build and development to follow):