Democratizing Composites Manufacturing - Inexpensive Tooling Empowers New Players

Kim-Niklas Antin*, Tuomas Pärnänen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Additive manufacturing (AM) has become more common in the composites industry during the past decade. There are several areas where the quick production of tooling and fixtures using additive manufacturing makes sense. Typical drawbacks of AM have recently been solved, such as the low-T-g of printing materials and small build envelopes. However, wide-spread use of AM in the composites industry is not yet reality due to risks involved with investments in a new production method and the lack of expertise to use AM where the benefits are greatest.

The risks can be lowered with the right approach and acquiring AM expertise does not necessarily mean big investments in machines. We will present here an approach, which allows composites manufacturers to experiment and explore the possibilities of AM without risky purchases. A case study is presented showing how a real product, such as a bicycle frame, can be manufactured using low-cost AM techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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