RoboPrint develops the large-scale 3D-printer for fiber reinforced plastics of the future

Development of a meter-scale printer

Large-scale applications of continuous fiber composite (CFC) reinforced plastics are abundant in maritime, automotive and largely in the progressive wind industry sector. The lay-up of CFC material is labor-intensive and highly manual, compromising production rates and posing safety and quality deficiency risks.

RoboPrint revolutionizes conventional manufacturing by establishing a fully automized and digitalized CFC 3D printing process - anticipated to become a game changer in industry demanding high-performance CFC structures by avoiding manual manufacturing limitations. CFC 3D printing enables production of complex geometries and fiber architectures otherwise not feasible with conventional methods. RoboPrint develops and integrates key enabling hardware and software technologies for 3D CFC printing on an industrial scale.

The aim of the project

This project aims at establishing novel large-scale Continuous Fiber Composite (CFC) 3D printing in Danish industry. Automatized CFC 3D printing is anticipated to become a game changer in industries associated with large-scale CFC structures. RoboPrint develops and integrates key enabling technologies for 3D CFC printing on industrial scale.

To this end RoboPrint develops a CFC extruder and incorporates it in the robotic printer. On the digitalization side, RoboPrint develops a Digital Twin (DT) of the robotic CFC 3D printer hardware. The DT unifies thermomechanical modelling of the printing process with the simulation of the robotic printing sequences in the virtual world. Virtual 3D CFC printing enables optimization of the structure to-be-printed prior to physical printing. A successful project significantly reduces cost, time, safety risk and waste material compared to state-of-the-art manual manufacturing methods.

At the end of the project large-scale CFC 3D printing technology is ready for demonstration in an industrially relevant environment.

Who will benefit from RoboPrint?

In Denmark, there is a growing demand for solutions involving additive manufacturing. Based on an investigation of production companies in Denmark, currently, one-third of the companies are actively using additive manufacturing [“Udbredelse af 3D print og additive manufacturing i dansk industri”, SDU 2022].

Denmark is already one of the leading countries in terms of working with reinforced fiber composites, maintaining a strong position both in terms of manufacturing and know-how. Introducing state-of-the-art CFC additive manufacturing into the Danish industrial sector will strengthen the global competitiveness of the Danish composite manufacturers even further.