Carbon fiber is one of many methods that Orbital Composites is exploring to make 3D printing up to 100 times faster.

Orbital Composites is a startup that is offering a new technology that could completed change the manufacturing industry. Orbital Composites makes print heads that could help increase print speeds for FFF/FDM 3D printers by 100 times. In addition to quickening print speeds, the print heads may also enable more types of objects to be printed. The print heads use three new technologies: Coaxial Extrusion, Capillary Injection Molding, and an Active Molding Roller. It is the combination of these technologies that enables 3D printing to speed up so significantly.

In addition to enabling the printing of carbon fiber, The Coaxial Extruder allows for the printing of many other materials, including plastic, wire and solder epoxies. Readers may already be familiar with MarkForged and their carbon fiber printer; the Orbital Composites process is not the same.

Cole Nielsen, the founder of Orbital Composites, told, “The business models are very different… MarkForged makes a consumer 3D printer and proprietary filaments for their machine. They take advantage of the incredible strength of carbon fiber. Our goal at Orbital Composites is to make 3D printing 100x faster, for everybody. But, we aren’t a 3D printer company. Instead, like Intel, we only make the processor or the 3D printer toolhead. In addition, we will offer 3D printing toolheads for the CNC equipment already in the field. 3D printers, mills, lathes, car welding robot arms, and aircraft manufacturing automated fiber placement machines, we want to upgrade all of it.”

“Coaxial extrusion works with COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) 3DP plastic filaments, solder, epoxies, pastes, and any long strand that you can fit through the nozzle,” Nielsen said. “We want to allow the COTS material library to be used. That way, our 3PD toolhead can be dovetailed into other manufacturing processes, like automated fiber placement. In addition, we will offer certified and premium materials. There will be medical and military standards for certified materials. Fiber optic cables exemplify a premium material.”

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