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22nd May 2019, Detroit, MI

Impossible Objects unveils next-generation 3D printer

Impossible Objects’ CBAM-2 3D printing system. © Impossible Objects

Impossible Objects’ CBAM-2 3D printing system. © Impossible Objects

Impossible Objects has announced two watershed advances in composite 3D printing for the factory floor at RAPID + TCT 2019, a leading additive manufacturing event that takes place in Detroit, MI, this week.

The company’s latest 3D printing system, the CBAM-2, and a new partnership with BASF on PA6-carbon fibre composites extend Impossible Objects’ patented composite based additive manufacturing process (CBAM) to an “unprecedented range” of industrial applications, the manufacturer reports.

“It’s been exciting to see how our customers are putting our approach to work to create high-performance parts for everything from aircraft and cars to lightweight athletic gear,” said Bob Swartz, Impossible Objects Founder and Chairman. “We’re continuing to bring machines, materials and expertise to the market to transform the entire manufacturing process, from prototyping through to high-volume production.”

Features of CBAM-2

The new CBAM-2 3D printing system, being shown at RAPID + TCT for the first time, delivers complex parts on an industrial scale — speeding up the additive manufacturing process as much as 10 times. The CBAM-2 combines high-performance polymers with long-fibre carbon and fiberglass sheets to rapidly produce 3D composite parts that are stronger, lighter, with better temperature performance, and more durable than possible with conventional 3D printing methods.

Since Impossible Objects launched its flagship Model One 3D printer at RAPID 2017, a growing number of Fortune 500 companies have adopted it. Major automotive manufacturers including Ford Motor Company, manufacturing services company Jabil, the United States Air Force, and the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) among others are using Impossible Objects technology.

BASF partnership

Impossible Objects also announced that through a collaboration with BASF, its Model One and CBAM-2 printers will support BASF’s Ultrasint PA6 (polyamide 6) powder, allowing customers to 3D print high-performance carbon fiber-PA6 composite parts for the first time.

Carbon fiber-PA6 composites offer better strength and temperature performance at a lower cost than PA12 and are up to four times stronger than conventional Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) parts and twice as strong as Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) parts made with PA12.

“Our collaboration with Impossible Objects opens up new possibilities for customers, especially in the automotive and industrial sectors where we’re seeing strong demand for PA6. This partnership is in line with our philosophy of open innovation and support for open platforms. We’re encouraged by how Impossible Objects is using PA6 and are excited to work together to advance the state of additive manufacturing,” said Kara Noack, regional business director for BASF 3D Printing Solutions.

Customer momentum

The Utah Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) announced the successful creation of its first carbon fibre 3D printed part for the United States Air Force, made with an Impossible Objects printer.

The 3D printed part, a first aid kit restraint strap for B-1 aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, is the first step in UAMMI’s mission to replace broken parts on legacy aircraft, whose original parts are no longer in production. For more information, please see UAMMI’s accompanying release.

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