IJAT Vol.18 No.1 pp. 128-134
doi: 10.20965/ijat.2024.p0128

Research Paper:

Fundamental Study of Press Molding Method for CFRP Preform Using a 3D Printer

Hidetake Tanaka*,†, Yuuki Nishimura*, Tatsuki Ikari**, and Emir Yilmaz* ORCID Icon

*Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Sophia University
7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, Japan

Corresponding author

**Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, National Defense Academy of Japan
Yokosuka, Japan

June 13, 2023
September 26, 2023
January 5, 2024
CFRP, preform, 3D printer, press molding, CAM

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is a composite material with high specific strength and is applied to transportation and aviation equipment. However, conventional processing methods require large-scale production apparatus or a high level of dexterity that only comes with extensive experience which makes it difficult to achieve high processing efficiency. The objective of this study is to develop a novel method for forming thermos-plastic CFRP (CFRTP) preforms implementing a 3D printer for press molding. Applying this method offers the advantage that continuous carbon fibers can be formed on a free-form surface. It also reduces the manufacturing time and operator skill required. The goal of this research is to establish a method for molding a free-form surface composed of continuous fibers by employing a 3D-printed preform designed to match the unfolded polygonised diagram of the free-form surface. Previous research introduced an unfolding approach for converting a three-dimensional shape to a plane surface based on a computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system, enabling the generation of an unfolding diagram that maintains the continuity of fiber tow. Furthermore, the validity of unfolded diagram was confirmed by reproducing the objective three-dimensional shape from the unfolded diagram using thermos-setting CPRP (CFRTS) tow prepreg. In this study, the viability of the proposed molding process using CFRTP preform fabricated by a 3D printer was verified and an assessment of the formability of the molded parts was conducted.

Cite this article as:
H. Tanaka, Y. Nishimura, T. Ikari, and E. Yilmaz, “Fundamental Study of Press Molding Method for CFRP Preform Using a 3D Printer,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.18 No.1, pp. 128-134, 2024.
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Last updated on Feb. 19, 2024